Fulham preview: Everything Lee Bowyer had to say about Blues’ next opponents

Bowyer says he doesn’t fear high-flying Fulham but will pay them respect when they visit St Andrew’s on Wednesday evening

Birmingham City face Fulham on Wednesday evening in what looks, on paper at least, to pose their toughest task of the season so far.

It will mark the second time in less than a month that the two have faced off - Marco Silva’s men coming away as 2-0 victors to knock the Blues out of the Carabao Cup at the end of August.

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But the league fixture is set to be a much contrasting affair. Both sides are expected to field much changed elevens to the ones that competed in the cup and with the upper Tilton back open, the atmosphere is set to be a completely different beast for the visitors to contend with.

With that said, the Blues are going to have to be on their A game to keep a side that has the quality of Aleksandar Mitrovic and Harry Wilson at bay - both of whom played no part in the fixture three weeks ago.

It’s this level of talent that Fulham have that Bowyer describes as ‘frightening.’

“It’s going to be a tough game. Fulham have just come down with a very good side and good squad. Their strength in depth is frightening really,” he said.

“But we’re at home and we’ll have our fans behind us to help us get those three points and my players will go out there and try their hardest and give everything.

“That group in there won’t be fearing Fulham. They’ll respect them because every team, whether it’s Fulham or a team at the bottom of the division, you have to respect them.

“We will respect them but the most important thing is that we don’t forget what we’re good at as well.

“As a squad, I think they’ve got the best squad but I think they bring a different challenge to what West Brom would. West Brom are more of a physical challenge. These are a real footballing team because they’ve got that Premier League quality in their side. Similar to Bournemouth I would say.”

The Blues are averaging nearly two points a game since the arrival of Bowyer at the back end of last season and his pride in what the club are achieving is evident.

Fulham as a game has gone from one the team would have been happy not to lose, to one they more than believe they can win. An opponent they would have feared, to one they are now treating as a rival.

Bowyer alluded to this.

“I think if you go on the last 10 games when I first walked in, it was a group of players that we had to find a way to win in perhaps a different way to how they were before,” he added.

“It was a case of just surviving and we did it comfortably.

“This season, we’re a different side to that team. Yes we’ve had a reasonably good start but it could have been even better in my eyes. There’s 40 games to go, we’ve only played six.

“I know this league, I know the demands and the physicality. You need a bit of luck and if we get that bit of luck, then I think we’ll have a decent season but you need all those things to fall in to place.

“What I do know is that I’ve got a good group of players, a good group of staff and a good group of fans, if you put all of those things together then anything is possible.

“The most important thing is that when those players step on to the pitch, whoever it may be, that they give 100% and that’s the one thing that I can guarantee and if you keep getting that then you have more chance of winning games.

“Even Bournemouth, I thought we didn’t deserve to lose that game but that’s a credit to the players - their hunger, fight and determination to try and win every point.

“As long as we keep that mentality. We’ve set our standard now and it can’t drop.”