After being a key part in last season’s survival, Steve Cotterill returns to St. Andrew’s for a second spell but this time as manager. His previous spell lasted only a few games as he did not want to stay on as an assistant manager and wanted to become the gaffer. However, Redknapp stayed and Cotterill left the managerial team. But yesterday morning, Birmingham City confirmed that Cotterill was their new boss after many sources confirmed the club held advanced talks with the 53-year-old.
Steve Cotterill has a very impressive record with lower league teams with five promotions and zero relegations to his name. However, he is yet to prove himself at the championship level and many fans see this as more of a risk than the employment of Gianfranco Zola, who lead the side into the relegation battle that Cotterill saved them from.
Cotterill was sacked by former team Bristol City, after the side struggled and on January 14th 2016, he was dismissed after losing 13 out of 26 and only winning 4. If he were to remain as Bristol manager, would he have one relegation to his name or would he save his side from demotion?
Lee Carsley has been appointed as assistant manager after his victory under the lights versus Sheffield Wednesday. Blues fans response to this decision, in particular, has been extremely positive as both men know vital information about the squad and have already gained the respect from the dressing room. This respect will play a key part in the campaign as under Zola, the players despised the Italian’s way of playing and the dressing room gave up on him.
The overall reaction from the fans has been negative and possibly demoralising for the boss himself as the majority believe he is not up to the task and will turn the dream of promotion into a nightmare and the club will be left fighting for survival and back to square one after the inevitable dismissal of Cotterill if this were to happen.
Birmingham take on Hull City at the KCOM Stadium today which will be Cotterill’s first game in charge. His whole reign as manager will be judged by close to 2000 traveling fans and the first impression of his strategical knowledge and problem solving within the fixture is of great importance. Hull are a struggling side as they have failed to make a positive start to the season, this is the perfect opportunity for Cotterill to silence the critics and demonstrate his managerial ability with a side full of individuals that possess exceptional ability on the pitch. Furthermore, this gives Cotterill a chance to assess his squad and prepare for a month of huge fixtures such as Millwall and Aston Villa.
It is the wrong decision to write a manager who has an extremely impressive record off before he has been given a chance to prove his worth and receive approval from the fans.