"A good job we’re playing away" – Birmingham boss Karanka welcomes Man City trip

Aitor Karanka says he's not fazed by playing Manchester City at the Etihad – because it would be worse if the tie was at St Andrew's.

Brum's chief heads into the clash against Pep Guardiola's in-form side against a backdrop of just two victories in the last 14.

But more worrying has been the struggling Championship club's displays on their own patch where they have won just three matches in the past 28 during the last calendar year.

He said: “If I go in as people are expecting, maybe we'd concede 10 goals but I believe in these players. It's true, we are making mistakes at the moment.

“But in the last three home games, the problem we have had is that we are not confident. It's something I'm trying to change.

“When we are together, confident, committed – like we have been at Reading, at Bristol City and at Nottingham Forest – then it's difficult for us to be beaten.

“But when we are at home where we aren't confident and things start badly, it's difficult for us to score goals.

“Unfortunately for us, the team has that reaction. Even though Manchester City are an amazing team, it's better for us if we are playing away from home.

“I trust this group. My job is to change that mentality to go on the pitch knowing that we have competed.”

And Karanka says he is expecting Manchester City to go hard at the tie – and wants them to.

He added: “The better the team they put out means they respect us more. If they go with Under-21 players it means they don't respect us and I know Pep a little and I am sure they will respect us and want to beat us.

“I expect the best from them and I want the best from them because their best will bring out the best in us.”

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