Hughton - We rode our luck

Howe rues scoreline after improved second-half showing

Last Updated: 03/04/12 11:23pm

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Chris Hughton admitted Birmingham rode their luck as they overcame Burnley 3-1 at Turf Moor, while Eddie Howe was impressed with the Clarets' second-half showing.

Goals from Marlon King, Jordon Mutch and David Murphy moved Blues three points clear of Blackpool, Brighton and Middlesbrough in fourth - the latter lying outside the top six on goal difference.

Danny Ings briefly brought Burnley level, a deserved reward as Howe's side took the game to the visitors after the interval.

Impressive runs in the Europa League and FA Cup have left Hughton's side with a backlog of fixtures this term, but this match was their final game in hand, leaving the tantalising prospect of a six-game shoot-out for the play-off places.

"I thought over the 90 minutes we just deserved it," said Hughton. "We had to ride our luck a little bit.

"In the first-half I thought we were good but you're up against a team that are playing at home.

"At 1-1, they had a period before that where I suppose some people watching the game would have thought it (the equaliser) was coming, but we showed great character to get that second goal and I think that was very much the turning point of the game."

Tough

Birmingham won by the same scoreline at Doncaster on Friday night, but Hughton insists their first back-to-back league wins since January will count for little unless they can be used as a springboard into a difficult final stretch.

"At the moment we've picked up two very big results away from home, showed great character and been able to score some goals, but we have to take that on.

"Form at the moment doesn't stand for anything if you don't take it into the next games.

"In our six games we've got three particularly tough ones - we go away to Brighton, away to West Ham and at home to Reading.

"So we've got to make sure we keep this form going right the way through because they're games that will certainly test us."

Momentum

Howe was disappointed his Burnley side did not have more to show for a vastly improved second-half showing.

Ings and Charlie Austin both hit the crossbar before the former equalised with a fine header from Ross Wallace's 73rd minute cross, but parity only lasted for two minutes.

"The scoreline doesn't look good, but it was a very good second-half performance," said Howe.

"I thought when we equalised we were going to go on and win the game. We've said that a few times this season.

"The momentum was all with us and we've conceded a really poor second goal. It's very tough when you work so hard to get back in a game and you conceded straight away.

"I thought there was a lot of positives second-half - first half we tried a different system, it didn't really work, we didn't really have any width and it was difficult because Birmingham were the better team.

"But second half we turned it right around. We bombarded them really and that's never been a 3-1 game."

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