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Birmingham City appoint new head coach Lee Bowyer after Aitor Karanka steps down

745ng | March 16, 2021

Birmingham City have appointed former Charlton boss Lee Bowyer as head coach, just minutes after confirming that Aitor Karanka had stepped down.

Karanka, 47, had been in charge of Blues for less than eight months.

Bowyer, 44, who resigned from his job with the Addicks on Monday, has signed a deal until June 2023.

Lee Bowyer is in talks to replace Aitor Karanka as Birmingham boss after  quitting Charlton - 247 News Around The World

Saturday’s 3-0 loss to Bristol City was Blues’ 12th home defeat of the campaign and left them just three points clear of the Championship relegation zone.

But Birmingham have also played four more games than 22nd-placed Rotherham and have 10 fixtures left this season – including a meeting with the Millers on 18 April.

Blues released a short statement on Tuesday confirming that Karanka had “stepped down” and that “further information would be provided in due course”.

Within 15 minutes, they then confirmed the return of former Birmingham midfielder Bowyer, who left The Valley after nearly three years at the League One club – including relegation from the Championship eights months ago.

Birmingham City next manager RECAP Lee Bowyer update, announcement claims  clarified, Karanka latest - Birmingham Live

“I’m absolutely delighted and it’s great to be back,” said Bowyer.

“I’ve already seen some of the old faces from when I was here last and I’m just really looking forward to getting to work.

“My priority is to lift everybody. Not just the players, the staff as well. It seems like it’s not been in a very good place, so I’ve got to lift them.

“I’ve got to try to implement what I want very quickly. The team will improve, I have no doubt about that but we already have a good base to work with.”

Bowyer’s first game in charge is scheduled to be on Wednesday at home to fifth-placed Reading, who Blues have already beaten this season.

Ex-Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest boss Karanka, who succeeded Spanish compatriot Pep Clotet last July, leaves after 38 league and cup games in charge – none of which Blues fans were able to attend.

The decision to replace former Real Madrid player Karanka with Bowyer means that City owners Trillion Trophy Asia have now appointed their eighth manager since taking control of the club in October 2016.

Blues are in their 10th season in the Championship, following relegation from the Premier League in 2011, the same season they beat Arsenal to win the League Cup at Wembley, the club’s greatest honour – a team that new boss Bowyer was part of.

In that time, they have finished in the Championship top 10 just three times, once under Chris Hughton, when they reached the play-offs in 2012, and twice under Gary Rowett, in 2015 and 2016 – and they have endured relegation battles in five of their 10 seasons back at second-tier level.

Written by 745ng

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