Saturday 21 October 2017

Harry Redknapp is back in management as he is announced as new Birmingham boss

Harry Redknapp has been named new Birmingham manager
Harry Redknapp has been named new Birmingham manager

Harry Redknapp has been appointed as the new manager of Birmingham following the resignation of Gianfranco Zola.

The 70-year-old former Tottenham and QPR boss takes over with Blues three points above the Sky Bet Championship relegation zone.

His first game in charge of the club, who announced his arrival on their Twitter account, will be at city rivals Aston Villa on Sunday.

"The Club is delighted to announce that Harry Redknapp is Blues new manager," the club said in statement.

"The vastly experienced Redknapp has agreed to replace Gianfranco Zola, who resigned on Monday.

"Redknapp has enjoyed notable success as a manager at AFC Bournemouth, West Ham United, Portsmouth, Tottenham Hotspur and QPR.

"Amongst his many achievements, he successfully guided Portsmouth and QPR to promotions to the Premier League and also secured an FA Cup victory with Portsmouth.

"He won a Premier League Manager of the Year award with Tottenham Hotspur and also qualified them for the Champions League.

"We believe that under the leadership of Redknapp, Blues will enhance their strength and create achievement."

His appointment follows almost a year out of English football. Redknapp last worked in English football with Derby, where he worked as a football advisor alongside then-head coach Darren Wassall.

He was also with the Jordan national team for a two-game spell, but has since been out of management.

Redknapp's priority from Birmingham's final three fixtures of the 2016/17 season will be to preserve their Championship status. Monday's 2-0 home defeat by Burton left them 20th, and only three points above the drop zone.

In his last spell in the Championship, he led QPR to promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt, having also previously inspired Portsmouth to promotion.

A season that began promisingly under new Derby manager Gary Rowett, who took Birmingham into contention for promotion, turned into one of significant struggle when Rowett was succeeded by Zola.

The Italian, who in 2013 led Watford to the play-off final before his sacking the following season, oversaw only two wins from 24 fixtures with Birmingham.

His appointment was as unexpected as Rowett's departure and led to significant unrest among the club's fans, who chanted "we want Zola out" during his final game in charge.

After his resignation, the 50-year-old said: "Birmingham deserves better. If I feel I cannot help the players, why stay? If I cannot help the team, it is better I leave and let someone else do that."

Press Association

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