Birmingham City: Harry Redknapp has galvanised Blues, says skipper Morrison

Michael Morrison (right) and his Birmingham City players celebrated like they had won the league at Ashton Gate - but the feeling in the dressing room is that it must now mark the start of better things to come for the club
Birmingham City's relieved players celebrated like they had won the league at Ashton Gate - but the feeling in the dressing room is that it must now mark the start of better things to come for the club

Birmingham captain Michael Morrison says the job Harry Redknapp has done in keeping Blues in the Championship should not be underestimated.

The 29-year-defender played his own part in City's survival, returning prematurely from three months out following a hernia operation to help Blues win their final two games.

But Morrison told BBC WM: "Harry's just made us hard to beat again.

"We've gone back a bit to what the players know and what we're good at."

It is still less than three weeks since 70-year-old Redknapp was summoned from semi-retirement on the south coast on Easter Monday to take charge for the final three games of the season, following Gianfranco Zola's departure.

He got off to a bad start when Blues were beaten in the local derby against Aston Villa, and then lost losing club captain Paul Robinson to suspension.

But Redknapp's side bounced back to record two victories, with 10 men against Huddersfield Town after Che Adams was wrongly sent off, then Bristol City, when the reprieved Adams netted the only goal.

And, having already stated his intention to stop on if the Blues board can match his ambition, he now appears even more favourably disposed towards stopping on after meeting the club's Chinese owners for the first time on Sunday night.

"Harry and his staff coming in have really galvanised the football club," said Morrison. "You can't underestimate what a good job they've done.

"He's played to our strengths. He's just built on being a hard-working team and not giving the opposition anything, counter attacking and causing problems. And the results are there to be seen.

"Results haven't been good enough since Christmas. It was nice to get a different approach. Possibly if it had come a bit sooner, then we might not have been in this position."

Harry Redknapp
Harry Redknapp had not managed in English football since leaving QPR in February 2015

Blues benefited from 'heated exchange'

Birmingham players were involved in a much-publicised on-field squabble after failing to win at bottom club Rotherham on Good Friday, but Morrison believes the incident had a positive spin-off.

"We had a heated exchange just before Gianfranco left. But we took that on and have come together as a team, which some people were questioning.

"The last few weeks people haven't been sleeping properly. But we've got together and shown that passion and belief in ourselves," he said.

"We thought we'd put in a good enough performance and got a good enough result (against Huddersfield) that it might have been done last week, but the way the results went. it turned out that we did need two wins after all.

"We put our bodies on the line to stop them scoring. They put the big men up there but it was a real team effort to keep them out. Krystian Bielik came on and did a good job on the centre-half and Clayton Donaldson did a real professional job when he came on, winning free-kicks for us further up the field.

As for Morrison's own presence, after undergoing surgery in February, he said: "We'd earmarked the Bristol game as a possibility. But then circumstances dictated that I came back sooner. I was struggling a bit. I was really blown after 45 minutes, let alone 90."

Harry Redknapp was talking to BBC WM's Richard Wilford

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