Forssell relishing Villa test
Birmingham's Mikael Forssell is relishing this Sunday's 'massive' derby against Aston Villa.
Last Updated: 17/04/08 5:28pm
Birmingham striker Mikael Forssell is relishing this Sunday's 'massive' game against city rivals Aston Villa.
The Finnish international, who has shrugged off an ankle problem, refused the chance of a day off this week to go in for extra training, such is his desire ahead of the clash at Villa Park.
The match is crucial for both teams, with Birmingham hovering just above the relegation zone and Villa pressing for European qualification at the other end of the table.
But Forssell knows Villa will be no push-overs after they beat Bolton 4-0 and Derby 6-0 in their last two league games.
The Blues striker said: "These are the type of games you look forward to playing in as you realise how important it is to the lives of the supporters.
"This is a massive game as we know Aston Villa are playing really well at the moment.
"They have a very strong team and are in a different position to where we are.
"Obviously, we cannot allow that to affect our game in any way. We know there is a good chance of a win and that derby games can go either way."
The fixture has added spice as Blues central defender Liam Ridgewell returns to Villa Park for the first time since he moved to Birmingham last summer.
The defender will want to be at his best, especially as he scored an own goal against Villa when Birmingham lost 2-1 to their arch rivals at St Andrews last November.
But Forssell believes his colleague will handle the pressure, saying: "Liam has the mental strength to deal with any abuse from the Villa fans and once the match has started everyone will concentrate on the game.
"Liam is a top man in every way and has the mental strength to handle this situation.
"Everyone who plays against their old team wants to prove a point. I do not think scoring an own goal against Villa when we played them at St Andrews affected him in any way.
"It is a big occasion for him and all of us but it is about being consistent on the day."
Birmingham have injury doubts ahead of the game with midfielder Sebastian Larsson battling to shake off a knee injury and striker James McFadden undergoing treatment for a knee problem.