Gary Rowett has been appointed as the new manager of Championship side Birmingham City, following their decision to sack Lee Clark last week.
The Blues only narrowly escaped relegation to the third-tier of English football on the final day of last season, when an injury-time sealed a dramatic comeback to draw 2-2 with Bolton Wanderers. Despite this scare Clark remained in charge for the current campaign, until it became evident they were in for another struggle due to a run of just one win in their opening 12 matches.
Malcolm Crosby was placed in charge of the 1-0 defeat at Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday evening, and again on Saturday afternoon when they suffered their heaviest ever home defeat as Bournemouth left St Andrews on the back of a staggering 8-0 scoreline. But when they face Wolverhampton Wanderers this weekend, it will be Rowett who will be pulling the strings from the dugout.
Birmingham director Panos Pavlakis told the official club website: “I’d like to formally welcome Gary ahead of the start of a new era for Birmingham City and I trust all supporters will join me in giving their full backing to our new manager and his staff. The board fully understands supporters’ frustrations during what has recently been a very difficult period for the football club. As a result, the board will endeavour to improve communication with our loyal supporters moving forward.”
Rowett had a spell as a Blues player, making over 100 appearances between 1998 and 2000 before he was sold to Leicester City for £3million. After a spell as assistant manager at Burton Albion he was appointed caretaker boss in March 2012, and was given the job on a permanent basis two months later. In his first season in charge, the 40-year-old led the Brewers to within two points of automatic promotion in 2012/13 before again taking the club to the League Two play-offs last season, only to lose the final 1-0 to Fleetwood Town at Wembley Stadium.
Rowett brings along Kevin Summerfield as his assistant manager, Mark Sale as first-team coach and Kevin Poole will join as goalkeeping coach. These three are also former Birmingham players, with the latter the most notable of the trio having spent four years at the club, making 57 league appearances before he joined Bolton Wanderers in October 2001.
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