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Football: Bruce: I'm ready for the battle; The FA CUP Countdown to the fifth round.

Byline: By MARTIN ROGERS

STEVE BRUCE last night insisted the next month will be the biggest of his career as he battles to save Birmingham from relegation.

Though the club face Stoke in the FA Cup on Sunday and do not play again in the league until next week, Bruce is adamant improvements must start now.

Bruce said: "We have got a huge month coming up when we have got Middlesbrough, West Brom and Sunderland in a row.

"When you talk about importance, that will be one of the biggest months I have ever faced.

"I am fighting for my life and so is everyone at the club. We have all got to pull together and do everything we can to get out of trouble."

Birmingham have won just five games all season but Bruce has retained the full backing of the Birmingham board.

He added: "When you are in a fight you need people who are going to roll their sleeves up and give their heart and soul for the club.

"I am certainly ready for the fight and I will make sure that everyone else is.

"I brought the vast majority of the players to the football club and I have belief in their ability."

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CRUNCH: Steve Bruce
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 17, 2006
Words:212
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