Cotterill and Karanka among favourites for Birmingham City job

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We’re only eight games into the new Championship season and already Birmingham City are looking for a new manager.

Harry Redknapp has departed from St Andrew’s after picking up just four points from 24 available.

And that was after spending £20m in the summer.

The Blues undoubtedly have a talented squad.

Now they just need the right manager to lead them up the table.

Here, we evaluate five contenders for the job…

Steve Cotterill

Birmingham’s assistant manager for the final three games of last season, Cotterill is primed for a return to the Midlands.

The 53-year-old is the early favourite for the job and is currently without a club since being sacked by Bristol City last season.

He likes to play good football, but his record at this level counts against him.

Stints at Burnley, Portsmouth, Nottingham Forest and Bristol City in the second-tier have all ended in the sack.

His status as the favourite may be more to do with his availability than his past achievements.

Aitor Karanka

Former Middlesbrough chief Karanka represents the pragmatic approach.

He guided Boro to the Premier League in 2016 based on a solid defensive record.

Given that Birmingham have shipped 12 goals already this season, his presence would undoubtedly be welcomed.

Lee Carsley

If the owners want to maintain familiarity within the club, the appointment of Carsley would make sense.

The 43-year-old played for Blues and is the caretaker manager following Redknapp’s sacking.

Carsley is well-regarded within the game and has enjoyed spells as a coach at Brentford, Coventry City and Manchester City.

His recent promotion to assistant manager of the England Under-21s further highlights his credentials.

Nigel Pearson

A slightly left-field choice perhaps, but Pearson loves working in the Midlands.

After taking Leicester City up to the Premier League and securing survival, the 54-year-old would surely relish the chance to return to management following a disappointing spell at Derby County.

His no-nonsense approach would undoubtedly appeal to City’s owners.

Michael Appleton

The lure of St Andrew’s could prove difficult to turn down for Appleton.

Formerly of Blackpool, Portsmouth and Blackburn, the 41-year-old is now the assistant manager at Leicester after leaving Oxford United in the summer.

Alongside two EFL Trophy final appearances, Appleton also guided the U’s to promotion to League One.

What will also appeal is that the Foxes assistant boss likes to play good football.

If you fancy Birmingham to turn their season around they’re a tasty 33/1 to win promotion.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Nick Murphy

Nick is a graduate of the University of East Anglia where he doubled up as the sports editor of the student newspaper Concrete. He also supports Dagenham & Redbridge and previously edited the matchday programme at Victoria Road. Other passions include darts, cricket, speedway and horse racing.