Sunday 19 November 2017

'I got fed up sitting around doing nothing' - Harry Redknapp reveals why he got back into football management

Harry Redknapp has been appointed as the new Birmingham FC Manager on April 18, 2017. WATFORD, ENGLAND - JANUARY 27. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Harry Redknapp has been appointed as the new Birmingham FC Manager on April 18, 2017. WATFORD, ENGLAND - JANUARY 27. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Harry Redknapp has returned to management with Birmingham after becoming "fed up" in his time out of football.

The 70-year-old was on Tuesday confirmed as Gianfranco Zola's successor until the end of the season, and he will be assisted in his bid to preserve their Sky Bet Championship status by former Bristol City manager Steve Cotterill.

Zola's run of only two wins from 24 fixtures has left Birmingham 20th and only three points above the relegation zone with three games to play, but Redknapp told TalkSport: "I got fed up sitting around doing nothing. I will come and live up here until the end of the season.

"If I can keep them up then we can sit down and talk about going forward.

"I got a phone call last night from the people at Birmingham.

"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?'"

"Birmingham is a proper club. It is a good club. They are in a precarious position and we have got the worst goal difference as well.

"I've gone in there, said I will come and do it. The money I am not interested in."

Birmingham's season began promisingly under new Derby manager Gary Rowett, who had taken them into contention for promotion before unexpectedly being sacked and replaced by Zola.

The club's supporters chanted for Zola's departure during Monday's 2-0 defeat by Burton, after which he resigned.

Redknapp's last job in English football came at Derby last season, as a football advisor alongside then-manager Darren Wassall.

He previously led QPR to promotion from the Championship via the play-offs in 2014, and Portsmouth as league winners in 2003.

One of his predecessors as manager Alex McLeish, who left Birmingham for cross-city rivals Aston Villa in 2011, described the appointment as a "shock" but expects Redknapp to secure survival.

"I am sure that he will keep them up," said the Scot, 58. "He will keep it real and stir them up for the last three games.

"It was a shock, he has taken it to the end of the season."

His first match as manager comes at Villa on Sunday. They then host promotion contenders Huddersfield, and visit the similarly relegation-threatened Bristol City.

"That's his first game," McLeish added. "He couldn't get a tougher one to choose.

"So it is another big game this weekend coming up and if Harry can win that one, the Birmingham fans will be looking to get him tied down immediately."

Redknapp is due to meet the squad tomorrow before being unveiled as Birmingham's new manager in a press conference at 230pm at St Andrew's.

Press Association

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