Steve Cotterill: Birmingham City appoint former Bristol City boss as new manager

Steve Cotterill (right) and Harry Redknapp
Steve Cotterill (right) worked with Harry Redknapp for the final three games of last season

Birmingham City have appointed Steve Cotterill as their new manager on a two-and-a-half year contract.

The 53-year-old replaces Harry Redknapp, who was sacked by Blues earlier this month after six successive defeats in all competitions.

Ex-Bristol City boss Cotterill ended last season as Redknapp's assistant for the final three games but turned down the chance to stay this summer.

Caretaker boss Lee Carsley will stay at the club as his number two.

Chief executive Xuandong Ren said: "A lot of quality candidates applied for the manager position and we underwent a very, very careful and meticulous process of selection.

"We have every faith in Steve Cotterill to help us achieve the ambitions we all share."

Cotterill will formally take over on Monday, with Carsley, who has so far overseen a draw and a win in his two games in charge, remaining at the helm for Saturday's trip to Hull City.

First-team coach Paul Groves and goalkeeping coach Kevin Hitchcock will keep their jobs on the club's backroom staff.

Cotterill is Blues' fourth manager in a year, Gary Rowett's sacking last December having been followed by Gianfranco Zola (127 days) and Redknapp (153 days).

Steve Cotterill's 20 years in management

Cotterill began his managerial career 20 years ago with Cheltenham Town, who he led to promotion into the Football League in 1999.

Spells with Stoke, Burnley, Notts County, Portsmouth and Nottingham Forest followed before he was appointed by Bristol City in December 2013.

Cotterill led them to a League One promotion and Football League Trophy double in 2014-15, but was sacked in January 2016 after a run of seven games without a win.

Brought in to help Redknapp save Birmingham from relegation in April, a club statement made reference to him being a "significant influence" in keeping Blues up.

The statement added: "He opted to leave St Andrew's in the summer as he wanted to be a number one in his own right and parted on good terms with the club."

Paul Williams, who was brought in by Carsley as his assistant, will leave Blues, currently 22nd in the Championship table, after Saturday's game.

Analysis

BBC WM's Richard Wilford

"The appointment of Steve Cotterill as manager feels like a "safe pair of hands" decision following the failure of big-name choices Gianfranco Zola and Harry Redknapp to push the club forward. Over the final three games of last season, when he helped steer the side to Championship safety, Redknapp's rapport with the players was a key factor.

"There was an argument for trying to persuade Lee Carsley that it was time for him to take the top job at the club, but he has made it clear throughout his short tenure as caretaker boss that a more experienced manager was needed.

"Significantly, Carsley, previously Blues' Head Professional Development Coach, will now continue his learning curve as Cotterill's assistant - and it may well be that the Birmingham board have ring-fenced the former Blues and Everton midfielder's position while interviewing potential candidates.

"The squad at St Andrew's has changed significantly since Cotterill left in May. He inherits players brought in by three different managers some of whom have been scarred by a year of constant change both of personnel and playing styles.

"Expectations must be set at a realistic level. Moving out of the relegation spots would be the first significant goal."

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