Birmingham City v Maribor: Europe has raised our game, says Burke
James Mariner is a journalist who has been boring The Independent sports desk with mindless statistics since June 2007. Helping with various, wide-ranging desk duties (I made the tea once), supervising workies and the endless researching of panels, James has an unnatural love of all things football, and in particular the Europa League, being a Tottenham Hotspur supporter. He cites Brian Sears and Ledley King among his heroes and can even find something interesting in Burnley v Hull City. On a good day.
Thursday 15 December 2011
Striker Chris Burke believes Birmingham's exploits in the Europa League this season have lifted their league form. City host Maribor tonight needing victory to have a chance of qualifying for the round of 32, while relying on Braga also winning at the Group H leaders, Club Brugge.
"The Europa League has been a great experience because you want to play against the best players in the world," Burke said. "People thought it was going to be a bit tough for us [but] it maybe spurred us on and [has] given us confidence in what we can do." Burke scored in City's 2-1 victory in Slovenia in September and remains positive about tonight's return at St Andrew's.
"I think we just have to look at it positively," the forward added. "It will still be a tough match against Maribor but we have to win our game and see what happens."
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