Chris Hughton: West Bromwich Albion speculation is no distraction

Former Irish international insists he is fully focused on the job in hand at Birmingham City despite the rumours he will succeed Roy Hodgson at the Hawthorns
Birmingham City manager Chris Hughton has brushed off suggestions that speculation on his future could derail the Blues' promotion bid.

Hughton has been widely tipped as the preferred candidate to take over from Roy Hodgson at fellow Midlands outfit West Bromwich Albion. Birmingham City face Blackpool tonight at St. Andrew's chasing a one goal deficit in the Championship play-off semi-final.

"For me, it's certainly no distraction - it's too important a time for that. I am only 100 per cent focused on a big game that will, hopefully, lead us to another big game," reports the Daily Telegraph.

The winners of tonight's play-off last four game will meet Hughton's old club West Ham United in the final. The former Newcastle United manager has said it is the "biggest 90 minutes of my managerial career" and has urged his players to do the club proud.

“It has been fabulous to go through an entire season losing only one game at home, it’s a massive feat, something we are very proud of," said Hughton.

He added: ""The more important side is what goes on on the football pitch and it’s no coincidence we are where are this season and that’s because we’ve deserved to be there and because we have been able to win games and play well for large chunks of the campaign."

Birmingham City kick-off against Blackpool tonight at 1945 BST.