An FA Cup replay is probably the thing any Manager wants least at this time of the season but what about the Birmingham fans making the trip?

Looking at the comments below they are clearly split as to what they expect in terms of a result BUT there is one thing that clearly unites them.

This is the view that Gianfranco Zola has got to play his best team, with the recently installed Birmingham boss leaving fans in disbelief that he intends to rest some of their best players.

After starting with six matches without a win, Zola is wondering how best to juggle his resources and get some momentum but with Birmingham now nine points off the play-off, plus 12 points off relegation, the supporters see the only way forward as going all out for an FA Cup run.

From what the Birmingham supporters are saying, we can’t expect to see many of them inside St James Park tonight, especially when there is no weekend in Whitley Bay for them to look forward to as an incentive to travel!

As for Newcastle supporters, despite it being mid-January and not the most attractive of matches, the feedback from the ticket office is that remarkably we are set to see one of the biggest attendances of the third round.

Comments from Birmingham fans via their top message board – SmallHeathAlliance:

‘I’m not really fussed what happens here. Our last silverware was only 6 years ago.

There’ll be positives if we win and progress or lose and endure fewer fixtures. But a win followed by the easyish draw in the next round would be very nice.

A good win followed by the influx of quality new signings combined with a win at the weekend would confirm a very good week for the club.

I keep hearing that Newcastle will be missing up to 9 players for different reasons, which will be irrelevant because we’re fielding a weakened team anyway.

Ideally it goes similarly to the home game where we out play them and create the most chances. But I think their fringe team at home will still be a bit much for our weakened starting 11.

Just kidding. 0-1.’

‘3-0 Newcastle, Blues will have more possession than would have happened under GR, but less shots, perhaps 2?’

‘We’ll win 1-2 then lose to Oxford.’

‘Everyone has so far predicted we will score which seems very unlikely.’

‘0-0, penalties and miss every one of them.’

‘Making the effort, any others coming up the Toon?’

‘Around 700 I’d say.’

‘Only weirdos are going to this game.

I personally know a few hundred Blues fans. I don’t know of any that are going.’

‘Anybody driving up to Newcastle tomorrow?’

‘Couldn’t hack that any more – 9 hrs driving in one day, no thanks. Got to be a stopover in Whitley bay which only livens up fri and sat.’

‘I went up there to the last game and left at half time so not sure why I’m bothering…’

‘In the league I got there late, left early, almost missed the train drinking in the bar at the station. Nightmare. And do not talk to me about them feckin stairs and the feckin view.

I think they be 2-0 up within 20 minutes same as the league game.’

‘Zola needs to sort out how his best team can play in an effective manner.

To put out anything other than what he believes to be his strongest team would be criminal.’

‘The only thing we’re now playing for in the Championship is to avoid relegation.

Newcastle have a depleted squad so we should be putting out our strongest side.

Sadly yet another Blues manager refusing to take cup competitions seriously.’

‘Without Morrison (fine) or Juke (wtf).’

‘Adams will play up front I expect. It will be fine. We may only win 2-0 rather than 3-0, but I’ll live with it. The two goals will give Adams’ confidence a boost.’

‘I’m going to need a pre match drink.’

‘Juke run them ragged in the first game.

Win the bloody game and give us a cup run.

Strongest 11 possible don’t let us down.’

‘If Blues could win this game this would give all of us a big lift.’

‘Trouble is, Newcastle have probably got 20 players that would walk into our first team.’

‘With the league going tits up this game has taken on a bit more importance for me.

I’d like a good cup run to generate a bit of excitement.’

We will win up there tomorrow I’m telling ya.’

‘Mr Zola

PLEASE play your strongest team possible.

The whole club needs a win and this is your chance to move forward and let us fans dream of Wembley and our Blues team winning a game.

Strongest 1 to 11 possible.’