Harry Redknapp: Birmingham City sack manager after poor run

Harry Redknapp
Birmingham City won four of Harry Redknapp's 13 games in charge in all competitions

Birmingham City have sacked manager Harry Redknapp following six straight defeats in all competitions.

The 70-year-old took charge of the club with three games remaining last term, winning the final two to avoid relegation from the Championship on the final day.

The former Tottenham and Portsmouth boss then signed a one-year deal in May to stay on as Blues boss.

Former Blues midfielder Lee Carsley has been placed in temporary charge.

Redknapp's assistant Kevin Bond has also left St Andrew's, but coaches Paul Groves and Kevin Hitchcock are set to stay.

A Blues statement said: "Unfortunately due to the poor start to the campaign which sees the club second from bottom of the Championship, we are left with no choice but to terminate the contract of the manager with immediate effect.

"We thank him for all his efforts and wish him good luck for the future. There will be no further comment at this time."

Less than five months in charge

Birmingham signed 14 players during the summer transfer window, but six defeats from their first eight league games in 2017-18 saw Redknapp become the first managerial casualty of the Championship season.

Saturday's 3-1 home loss to Preston was the ex-West Ham and QPR boss' final match in charge of the Blues.

Redknapp initially worked without asking for payment from Blues for the final three games of 2016-17, having replaced Gianfranco Zola.

Birmingham are 23rd in the table after their first eight league games, above only winless, newly promoted Bolton Wanderers.

Carsley, 43, who was previously head coach at Brentford on an interim basis in 2015, steps up from the role of development squad manager at Birmingham.

Redknapp was 'enjoying the job'

Speaking after the loss to Preston but before his departure was announced, Redknapp told BBC WM 95.6: "Fans deserve better and that was my motivation to carry on this season.

"I do not come to work because I need the money, I enjoy the job and leaving home at 5.15 every morning. I would love to be the manager to bring some success to Birmingham."

Redknapp had replaced Zola 16 hours after the Italian's resignation in April, following the Blues' run of two wins in 24 matches under the former Chelsea forward.

When Gary Rowett was sacked in December, they had been seventh in the table, outside the play-off places only on goal difference, but they narrowly survived relegation on the final day thanks to a 1-0 win at Bristol City.

Birmingham's next match on Saturday, 23 September is away to Rowett's current side, Derby County.

'It's going to be a tough job'

Former Birmingham captain Martin O'Connor told BBC WM 95.6 he was surprised by the timing of Redknapp's departure.

"If you don't get results you're always on the verge of criticism," he said. "You can see where the board are coming from but he had just brought all these players in.

"Whoever steps into the fray has got a team that is not firing on all cylinders. It is going to be a tough job.

"They need someone long-term now, with a fresh pair of eyes, impetus and philosophy, to try and galvanise the team together."

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