Redknapp to use Pompey as Birmingham inspiration

Former Pompey boss Harry Redknapp
Former Pompey boss Harry Redknapp
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Harry Redknapp is hoping to draw on his Pompey experience to boost Birmingham’s fortunes.

The former Blues manager was appointed boss of the Championship side yesterday, with the club currently 20th in the table – three points above the drop zone.

The St Andrews outfit have only three games of the season remaining, and go into Saturday’s derby with Aston Villa with a record of two wins from their past 24 games.

They sat seventh in the table when Gianfranco Zola was appointed their manager in December.

Redknapp, who guided Pompey to the 2008 FA Cup final, took over a similar situation at Fratton Park following the sacking on Graham Rix.

Rix was dismissed in March 2002, with the Blues 15th in the First Division table and with a record of 16 wins from his 57 matches in charge.

At the time Redknapp was director of football at Pompey, but stepped into the breach to ensure the club remained in the division.

Two draws from his five games at the helm helped the Blues stay up as they finished 17th – four points above the relegation zone.

And the following season, he led the club to the First Division title with 98 points.

Now Redknapp is hoping to use his Fratton Park past as inspiration for Birmingham’s future.

Speaking at his official unveiling today, he said: ‘I’ve been in a situation similar to this when taking over with three or four games to go at Portsmouth, when they were struggling to stay up and Milan (Mandaric) asked me to take the team.

‘I went in and took the team there, we stayed up, we scraped through, got a result or two, a couple of draws I think, and just about survived.

‘And then the following year we went on to win the league.

‘Let’s hope the same pattern can follow at Birmingham.’

Redknapp confirmed former Pompey boss Steve Cotterill and Blues coach, Paul Groves, will be part of his backroom staff at Birmingham.