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Robson ready for Bees debut

Not all eyes are on the Premier League this week. Tuesday night’s Capital One first round clash between Birmingham City and Npower League Two side Barnet will represent the managerial debut of new Bees boss Mark Robson (pictured).

The Londoners travel to the twice winners of the League Cup knowing that they are in for a tough outing against a Birmingham side who narrowly missed out on a return to the Premier League last season.

Robson - the former Tottenham, West Ham, Charlton and Notts County midfielder - is under no illusions about the magnitude of the task at hand but backed by a large travelling support, he believes Barnet can rise to the occasion and cause Lee Clarke’s side some problems.

“We are all really looking forward to the game this evening, it’s a big game for us against a side that narrowly missed out on promotion to the Premier League last season,” he said.

“I’m hoping it will be a good occasion for the club and we hope to put on a decent display for the travelling supporters, give a good account of ourselves and give the fans something to be proud of.”

Reshape to the football calendar

The newly reformed Capital One Cup begins before the start of the new league campaign in a reshape to the football calendar.

With the league season not starting until this Saturday, Robson admits he would prefer Barnet to kick off their league campaign before entering the cup competition.

He added: “It’s perhaps a shame that we haven’t got a few league games under our belt before we take on a Championship side, but we are looking for something positive to take into our first league game of the season at Port Vale on Saturday.”

Barnet’s miraculous final day survival act of last season is something that Robson is keen to avoid.

The Barnet boss has openly admitted that the league takes priority over the Capital One Cup but with the addition of several new faces over the summer, Robson is likely to field a strong side at St Andrews.

He continued: “Obviously the league is our real focus for the season, but I’ll be taking all the available first team players with us when we leave The Hive this afternoon and we travel in good spirits.”

Robson has also confirmed that central defender Jon Fortune will be given the captain’s armband ahead of the new season.

By Daniel Ludlam

Follow Total Football on Twitter: @TotalFootball12

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