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Gary Rowett – 1 Year on at Birmingham City

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October 27th, 2014. There’s a familiar face in town again with Birmingham City appointing ex-defender Gary Rowett as their new manager. Most fans will probably recognise that appointing a League 2 manager at the time was a huge gamble. After all, he had no previous experience of managing a club with Burton Albion being his first job as manager.

However, 12 months on and you will find that Rowett has worked wonders with the Midlands side helping revitalise their form and improving statistics across the board. Both points and goals-per-game ratio look attractive enough of that of a Premier League side.

His first game in charge would be a clash against Wolves which would finish 0-0. A result which at the time most fans would’ve been pleased with. The following game at home to promotion favourites Watford would see the boys in Blue run out victorious with the final score 2-1 thanks to both goals coming from Clayton Donaldson. It would be only the second time Birmingham had won at home in 26 attempts.

Wins against Rotherham, Nottingham Forest and a 6-1 thumping of Reading soon followed and by the end of the year, the boys in blue sat in 14th position and were set to take on 2015 in positive fashion.

City’s first league game of 2015 would see them win 3-1 and they would go undefeated in their next four but goals weren’t flowing and as a result, they would only pick up four points through a series of draws.

Nevertheless, they were occupying 11th place in the Championship which sparked the question of play-offs. Could Rowett really guide them there? After somewhat of a dismal February, this fantasy was no longer to be and the focus turned to turning their form around after going eight games without a win.

With 13 games left, Birmingham would go on to win seven of them including three draws ensuring a 10th place finish – their highest of the season.

Going in to the off-season, it was time for Rowett to make the much needed changes to the squad to ensure they were ready for the forthcoming season. Both Demarai Gray and Clayton Donaldson were convinced to stay with the likes of Maikel Kieftenbeld, Tomasz Kuszczak and Jacques Maghoma joining the team after the club was able to acquire the services of Tesche and Fabbrini.

This season has started in positive fashion with the club currently in 6th position – 1 point away from the automatic play-off place. Now that Rowett has the squad which not only has the talent but the right mentality to win, Birmingham fans will be looking forward to see how the 2015-16 season goes and who knows, we may see them make a return to the Premier League next summer…


Gary Rowett

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