Gary Rowett: Birmingham City not feeling sorry for themselves

Gary Rowett was pitting his wits against Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy at Portman Road on Tuesday night
Gary Rowett was pitting his wits against Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy at Portman Road on Tuesday night

Birmingham City boss Gary Rowett says his team must 'knuckle down and crack on' to try and end their winless run.

Blues lost just twice in 13 games after Rowett's appointment in late October, but Tuesday's defeat at Ipswich left them now without a win in nine matches.

"We won eight out of the first 11 and weren't shouting from the rooftops. Now we've got to stick together," he said.

"We take it on the chin as a unit. We have got to knuckle down, not feel sorry for ourselves and crack on."

Rowett's men have not won a game since the distraction of Championship promotion-chasers Bournemouth pursuing winger Demarai Gray during the January window.

Blues looking over their shoulder
Birmingham City's hopes of sneaking into the Championship play-off picture have been ended by their current poor run of four defeats and five draws in nine league and cup games. They now trail sixth place by 20 points and have slumped back to within eight points of the relegation zone.

It has not helped their cause that, for all the optimism of Rowett's early days, they remain under a cloud of confusion caused by reports in the Far East about the state of their parent company Birmingham International Holdings Ltd (BIHL).

BIHL blamed "fractious and inharmonious relations within the management" for going into receivership last week.

And the latest word from Hong Kong is that the club's former chairman, Carson Yeung, who is still serving a prison sentence for money laundering, is behind an attempt to block the potential sale of the club.external-link

The Championship side could lose 10 points if the Football League deems BIHL's decision to call in receivers to have been an "insolvency event".

For the moment, despite the worst run of his managerial career, former Burton Albion boss Rowett is concentrating on his day-to-day duties, and the potential strengthening of the team.

"We've got a couple of targets we've been looking at," he added. "We're waiting on an answer but teams are reluctant to let players out.

"A lot of the top teams are holding on to make sure the 93-day emergency loan gets them through the play-offs, so there may be some movement in the next two weeks."