During the summer, Harry Redknapp claimed “it isn’t difficult to build a team to get out of this league”. Whilst making a rod for his own back, Redknapp also increased the expectations and optimism around St. Andrews.
As seems to be the norm in B9, that early balloon of optimism was shot down with a dart. While the club backed Redknapp – better late than never – in the transfer window, it’ll take more than a bit of cash to reverse the fortunes of a club who have picked up 27 points from a possible 108 since Gary Rowett was sacked.
Six wins, nine draws and 21 defeats in 36 games. Dress it up whichever way suits. But one fact you cannot dress up is the mammoth task facing Steve Cotterill, the fourth manager in less than a year.
The new manager speaks with passion and pride at landing the managerial post at a ‘special club’. Cotterill isn’t blind to the size of the task – he was in attendance for the 6-1 annihilation at Hull City.
During his unveiling, Cotterill seemed pretty grounded when talking about stability and moving away from the danger zone. Meanwhile, club CEO and Director Xuandong Ren spouted about how we can earn promotion and finish above Aston Villa.
After two failed managerial appointments (Redknapp and Gianfranco Zola) it’s about time the board realised just how tough the Championship is. It’s not as simple as opening the piggy bank and signing 14 new players. It’s about stabilising the club, uniting a squad and laying foundations on which to build. Hopefully, Cotterill will be given time to do that.
Blues’ average attendance this season of 20,602 – their highest at this stage of the season since 2012 – is evidence that the fans are still on board with the club’s ambitions. However, the patience won’t last forever and the team must start producing on the pitch.
Let’s Keep Right On and see what happens.