Redknapp back in English soccer as manager of Birmingham

Birmingham won only twice in 22 league games under his predecessor Gianfranco Zola, who resigned after a home defeat to Burton Albion on Monday.

However under former Italy global Zola, the Midlands club suffered a dramatic slump in form that saw Birmingham manage just two wins in 22 matches.

To say the decision to replace Gary Rowett with Gianfranco Zola in December 2016 was unpopular, is an understatement, and with hindsight it is something that Birmingham's owners may regret.

Four months and just two wins later, Birmingham are now three points outside the relegation zone.

Redknapp has had previous spells as The West Ham, Tottenham and QPR manager.

The south-coast club's first-ever appearance in the Premier League - they were relegated from the old First Division in 1983 - was later guaranteed after Huddersfield conceded a late equaliser at Pride Park. "Wigan and Blackburn have still got a big chance, so we're going to need some points from somewhere, starting if we can on Sunday".

"The lows of losing against Aston Villa on Sunday will be horrendous but if we win I will be singing in the vehicle all the way home".

"I went in there and said, "I don't want anything, but I'll come and do it". If they don't stay up, I won't stay. I drove to London, had a meeting for 10 to 15 minutes, sat down and said, 'Yeah, I will do it, no problem.' I got home and my wife said: "'Are you mad?'" "He will keep it real and stir them up for the last three games". "The club's position is not secure and they are frustrated and I can understand their feelings".

Redknapp, with his 34 years of managerial experience, has subsequently been chosen to rescue them from potential relegation, with Birmingham set to face Midlands rivals Aston Villa this weekend. "If we hadn't made the play-offs, I wouldn't have got paid anything".

  • Joanne Flowers