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Mar 12, 2011

Francis: Blues can book Wembley date

Former Birmingham City manager Trevor Francis believes the Carling Cup winners can complete the double and triumph in the FA Cup.

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Birmingham beat Arsenal 2-1 at Wembley last month to secure their first trophy since 1963 but a packed fixture list, due their success in the cup competitions, has seen the relegation-threatened side suffer in the Premier League.

However, ahead of Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final with Bolton, Francis, who spent eight years as a player at St Andrews, insists his old team have enough quality to book another Wembley date and avoid the drop.

"I think they are capable of achieving both," Francis told Talksport. "I think they can win tomorrow [Saturday] and that will give fans another Wembley appearance. They have got a good enough squad.

"They go to Wigan in the league next weekend and then there's a gap because there's an international week so that will give them the opportunity to get players back to full fitness. And I think they are more than capable of staying in the league."

Francis also believes the Premier League should not be the priority for manager Alex McLeish, as Birmingham fans would rather win the FA Cup than stay up.

Francis said: "If you asked the owners of Birmingham City it's a no-brainer, they would say stay in the Premier League. But I really think for many clubs who are regarded as yo-yo clubs, who have never tasted any kind success, I think if you did a poll you'd be surprised.

"I think Birmingham City supporters would say they would prefer to win the FA Cup at Wembley."

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