‘Difficult season’ Former Birmingham City boss tears into Blues after Nottingham Forest drubbing
Gary Rowett reckons Birmingham City are in for a ‘difficult season’ after picking apart their 3-0 drubbing at Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
Ex-Blues boss Rowett, who is currently out of work, was in Quest’s studio on Saturday night to analyse the Championship’s matches.
And he didn’t mince his words when asked about Blues’ Championship chances after the decision to sack Garry Monk and replace him with Pep Clotet.
“I think it’s a massive transition,” said Rowett. “They’ve tried to do it before under Gianfranco Zola, where they’re trying to change the style, and I think it’s going to be a difficult season for them.”
Rowett was infamously sacked in December 2016 and replaced by Zola as the Blues board attempted to overhaul their playing style.
It didn’t work on that occasion with Zola sacked after just two wins in 22 matches and neither of the Italian’s successors, Harry Redknapp and Steve Cotterill, could completely stem the tide.
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Monk, with the support of current boss Clotet as assistant, managed to do just that as Blues reverted to a pragmatic approach. But he was given the boot over the summer with Spanish coach Clotet charged with making Blues more pleasing on the eye.
Rowett continued: “You look at Birmingham’s start, they had 24 per cent possession in the first game against Brentford and won 1-0.
“It doesn’t really matter, it’s about how many chances you create and converting them. If you win a game, I don’t think those stats mean an awful lot.”
Rowett, who has managed Derby County and Stoke City since his Blues exit, also reserved praise for Forest boss Sabri Lamouchi after goals from Joe Lolley, Lewis Grabban and Michael Dawson gave the Reds a deserved win.
“Excellent management, he got it spot on,” Rowett said. “You look at the possession – 47 per cent possession at home – but I don’t think it’s a problem.
“He knows that Birmingham’s new system means they’re going to come onto them and be a little bit more expansive and he’s looked to try and exploit those gaps on the counter-attack.
“They did it really well and it looked like they won at a canter.”