Former Tottenham boss Redknapp takes charge at Championship strugglers in shock move
HARRY REDKNAPP has been named as the new manager of Championship strugglers Birmingham.
Redknapp will take charge at St Andrew’s following the resignation of Gianfranco Zola as boss, with Steve Cotterill working as his number two.
Redknapp has been appointed on a short-term deal until the end of the season, with the view to staying on longer should he help the club avoid the drop.
The former West Ham and Tottenham boss has been out of full-time managerial work since he left QPR in February 2015 – although he did manage the Jordan national team for two games in March.
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The one-time candidate for the England job remained focus with regular TV appearances as a pundit for Premier League matches and has regularly insisted he is ready to return to the dugout.
Birmingham have not won a game since February and are teetering on the edge of the relegation zone with just a three-point cushion.
Speaking to Talksport, Redknapp said: “I got a phone call last night from the people at Birmingham on Monday night.
“I drove to London, had a meeting for ten to 15 minutes, sat down and said ‘yeah, I will do it, no problem’. I got home and my wife said: ‘are you mad!’
“Birmingham is a proper club. It is a good club. They are in a precarious position and we have got the worst goal difference as well.
“I’ve gone in there said I will come and do it. The money I am not interested in.”
Worryingly for the Midlands club, they face gig spenders Aston Villa and promotion chasers Huddersfield before what could be a do-or-die match with fellow strugglers Bristol City.
Zola quit the club on Monday following the 2-0 defeat to Burton Albion after a disastrous spell in charge which saw him win just two of 24 games.
Redknapp has been brought in by Birmingham owners Trillion Trophy Asia after their decision to appoint Zola backfired.
They decided to sack respected boss Gary Rowett and replace him with Zola because they wanted a marquee name to raise the profile of the club.
But Rowett’s departure led to an alarming slump in form for the Blues, and they are now at risk of dropping down to League One.
They are just three points clear of Blackburn in the final relegation position and desperately need a change of fortunes after a run of nine Championship matches without a win.
Redknapp, 70, will begin his reign in one of the biggest games possible – a trip to midlands rivals Aston Villa on Sunday.
He will also be hoping Newcastle clinch automatic promotion to the Premier League before Birmingham face top flight hopefuls Huddersfield the following week.
But the final day match against relegation strugglers Bristol City on May 7 could be a game that decides which team stays up and which team is relegated.