Newcastle United boss Sam Allardyce admits he is sweating on whether his players can repeat their performance against Arsenal for today's clash with Birmingham.

"Emphasising that we need the level of performance we reached against Arsenal again is the hardest piece of work we have to do as a management and coaching team," said Allardyce, whose job security remains fragile. "We'll work very hard at making sure we start [against Birmingham] where we left off on Wednesday night. We'll ask the players to bring themselves up to that level.

"I think it will be a different game entirely to Arsenal; I think they'll sit back and see what we have to offer. They'll look to frustrate us and see what they can get from our mistakes or on the break. We also have to guard against a little complacency. It's sometimes easier for a player to go out against a top team like Arsenal and, because we got to such a high level of effort on Wednesday, you have to worry as a manager and make sure you get your players back there."