Last Updated: Wed, 07 Mar 2012 10:37
Chris Hughton hailed the "positive impact" Birmingham's cup runs have had on the club's season after bowing out of their final knockout competition to Chelsea.
In what was a 47th game of the campaign so far, Blues were undone in their FA Cup fifth-round replay 2-0 by the Premier League giants at St Andrew's.
Many people felt City's demanding Europa League campaign, in which the club qualified for the group stages before narrowly failing to progress, would have a detrimental effect. Yet Hughton, like many others, believes it has had the opposite.
"We have really enjoyed the cup runs in the Europa League and the FA Cup," he said. "People say they may have impacted on our hopes in the league.
"But I think they have had a positive impact on us and there is no shame in going out to a Chelsea side full of quality."
Regarding his side's FA Cup exit, he added: "We gave it a real good go but needed to stay in the game at 0-0 longer in the second half. The first goal gave them a lift and the second was real quality."
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