Gary Rowett: Birmingham City boss wants strong finish to Championship season

Gary Rowett
Gary Rowett has been linked to the permanent manager's job at Derby County this season

Manager Gary Rowett does not want to let Birmingham City's season peter out after conceding their play-off challenge is now effectively over.

The Blues' 2-1 defeat by promotion-chasing Brighton at St Andrew's left them 11 points off the top six with seven matches to play.

"I don't want this season to fizzle out," Rowett, 42, told BBC WM 95.6.

"We need to win some games for our pride, our fans and our momentum - and that's going to be our main focus."

Ninth-placed Birmingham were only a point outside the play-off places at the start of March but a run of five games without a win, including three defeats, has all but ended their chances of going up.

"It's not over in terms of winning games of football but if I said we've still got a chance of getting in the play-offs people would think I'm a little bit barmy and talking rubbish," Rowett said.

"Logically, our opportunity's gone but we're in a really good position in terms of the league. Last season we didn't have much to play for and won the last three games to climb to 10th."

Rowett does not plan to tinker

Although making the top six is no longer a realistic aim, Rowett says he is not planning to use the remaining seven games to experiment with different systems, including pairing Kyle Lafferty and Clayton Donaldson up front together.

"Whenever we've played two strikers, there's been too much space on the pitch and we've conceded loads of goals," he said.

"There's been a real clamour to change things and formations, but you have to say 4-2-3-1 has won us most games and got us into the position we're in.

"I'm not saying we shouldn't be flexible or experiment, it's just that when we do we seem to get worse."

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