Gianfranco Zola: Birmingham City manager gets backing from board

Gianfranco Zola's Birmingham City were beaten 2-1 by his Blues predecessor Gary Rowett's Derby County on Saturday at St Andrew's
Gianfranco Zola's Birmingham City were beaten 2-1 by his Blues predecessor Gary Rowett's Derby County on Saturday at St Andrew's

Birmingham City manager Gianfranco Zola has been given the full backing of the board following Saturday's home defeat by Gary Rowett's Derby County.

Blues' 2-1 loss left Zola with a record of just two wins in 22 games in all competitions since Rowett was sacked to bring in the Italian in December.

But, following media speculation that Zola might suffer the same fate, the Blues' board issued a statement.

"The club has not lined up any manager to replace Gianfranco," it said.

"He has the continual full support of the Blues' board of directors.

"Whilst we understand the frustrations caused by the run of results, the way the supporters got behind Gianfranco and the team on Saturday at St Andrew's was typical of Blues fans' passion, care for the club and desire for success, which is what we all share and much appreciate.

"The board and all departments at the club are keeping united and standing alongside Gianfranco, his staff and the players, to try to play the kind of football every Blues supporter deserves to watch."

Birmingham did not acknowledge Rowett's much publicised return to St Andrew's on Saturday, the Derby boss having admitted that he had noticed there had been no mention of him in the matchday programme.

"I did not expect anything less from some people at the club," said Rowett. "That is how they want to do things.

"I have no problem with that as I move on. I have tried to keep my dignity. It was not my decision to leave."

Birmingham are 18th in the Championship, six points above the bottom three, having been seventh and only out of the play-off places only on goal difference when Rowett was sacked by Blues' new Chinese owners on 14 December.

Confirmation of the appointment of Chelsea and Italy legend Zola, 50, came later that day.

Former Birmingham City player Curtis Woodhouse on Twitter
Former Birmingham City player Curtis Woodhouse on Twitter

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