Ridgewell keen to buck trend

Defender keen to solve first-half puzzle at Upton Park

Ridgewell: Poor starters

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Liam Ridgewell admits Birmingham City cannot let their worrying first-half trend continue at West Ham United this weekend.

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"We've got to try and take that desire we show in all the second halfs from straight off"

Liam Ridgewell

Quotes of the week

The Blues are fighting for their Premier League survival this season after reluctantly earning a tag of poor starters.

In just over a week, Blues have trailed at half-time to the Hammers in the Carling Cup, to Coventry City in the FA Cup and to Manchester City in the league.

The fact Birmingham have fought back in each game to avoid defeat is not good enough for Ridgewell.

And the former Aston Villa defender has urged his side to start producing 90-minute performances ahead of Saturday's all-important fixture with their relegation rivals.

He told said: "We've got a never-say-die spirit and we've got to keep taking that into the games. But it would be nice to take it into the first half of matches and try and get ahead.

"We seem to be going behind in games. It is obviously disappointing. We are trying to work on it and to get ourselves in front.

"We've got to try and take that desire we show in all the second halves from straight off. We are working on it. It is a bit of a puzzle, one of those things going on at the minute.

"But it is good in the other way in that we are going right to the end in games."

Winning mentality

Ridgewell is prepared for a backlash from the Hammers, who led 3-1 on aggregate in the Carling Cup semi-final before losing 4-3.

He said: "It will be a massive game again like the cup game. They will want to try and get a result after we beat them in the Carling Cup.

"But we've got to start getting some wins to take us away from relegation. We've got to go down there and try and take maximum points off them."

Ridgewell is aware that too many draws cost Birmingham their top-flight status two years ago and they have shared the spoils in 12 of their 23 games this season.

He said: "We've got to try and convert the draws we've been getting in league games into wins. When we went down a couple of years ago, we also featured in a lot of draws.

"We've got to try for three pointers to move away from the bottom. We've got to try and go into the game with a winning mentality."

Blues are hoping loan signing Obafemi Martins will obtain a visa in time to make his debut at Upton Park.

Ridgewell said: "I've played against him when I was at Villa and he is a quality player. He has got pace and scores goals. Hopefully he can do the same for us.

"He will be hungry to make an impact back in the Premier League."

What will be the outcome in the match West Ham vs Birmingham?

  • West Ham
  • Draw
  • Birmingham