Leeds United midfielder Eunan O`Kane is expecting a tough test when they travel to Birmingham City on Saturday despite their lowly league position.
Birmingham are currently at the foot of the Championship table and their defeat to Norwich City on Boxing Day was their seventh game without a win.
The blues were tipped by many to be challenging for promotion this season under manager Harry Redknapp after bringing in David Stockdale from promoted Brighton, Harlee Dean and Jota from Brentford as well as six players on loan from the Premier League including Craig Gardner from West Brom and Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson.
A poor start to the season under Redknapp saw him replaced in October. Steve Cotterill replaced him but the new manager has struggled to reverse the form. Birmingham have won just two of his thirteen games in charge and they slipped to the bottom of the table following their draw at Sunderland recently.
Despite their poor form, two of their four wins this season have come against promotion chasing Bristol City and Cardiff City at St Andrews and O`Kane, who returned to the starting line-up for Leeds in the win at Burton Albion on Boxing Day, knows they must put on a professional performance to come away with the points.
“If you look at the results on Boxing Day there were a few shocks in there,” O`Kane told the Yorkshire Evening Post.
“It is up to us to go down there and make sure we put on a professional performance.
“It might not go our way to start with, like at Burton, but we have to pick ourselves up and try and pick up those three points.
“It`s somewhere that`s not the nicest of places to go but I think with the form that we are in and with them having a little bit of a tough time, hopefully we will be able to come away with a positive result.”
When the two sides met at Elland Road in September, Leeds won 2-0 thanks to goals from Samu Saiz and Stuart Dallas.
The two goalscorers have been out of the side recently through injury. Saiz has missed the last two games with a calf injury but he is expected to return to the squad on Saturday. Dallas is still injured after suffering a foot injury whilst on international duty in November and he is not expected to return until the New Year.
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