Birmingham City currently find themselves in an unwanted position in the Championship, a point adrift of safety. However, despite the club’s dismal start to the campaign, things look set to improve following the appointment of Steve Cotterill as boss.
The 53-year-old arrives with a ton of pedigree, having won four promotions during a highly impressive managerial career. Most recently, he took Bristol City from League One strugglers to an entertaining Championship side.
Cotterill has almost always left teams in a better state than when he arrived. Even at a Portsmouth side in freefall for much of the past decade, he gave the club a season of stability in the Championship before heading to Nottingham Forest.
The side he inherits at St Andrew’s is far better than the one he found on his arrival at Fratton Park. In fact, it’s an indictment of Gianfranco Zola and Harry Redknapp that they didn’t get a good deal more out of the current Blues crop.
Along with reliable, seasoned campaigners like Craig Gardner and Cheikh N’Doye, they also boast players with real creativity and cutting edge, like former Brentford favourite Jota and hugely talented youngster Che Adams.
As for January’s transfer window, Blues’ budget is in safe hands. The Cheltenham-born gaffer has always proved a slick operator in the market.
At Burnley, he brought future fan favourites Jon Harley and Robbie Blake on board. Meanwhile, as Bristol City boss, he signed some of the club’s top performers of the current era in Luke Freeman, Luke Ayling and Aden Flint.
Having never been relegated during his time in management, Blues’ relegation fears are unlikely to last long. And with the experienced gaffer having worked as a coach at the club for a short period last term, he already knows what they’re all about. Good times appear to lie ahead.
Birmingham City are 23/10 to beat high-flying Cardiff City on Saturday.
Meanwhile, those backing Cotterill to turn the West Midlands’ club’s fortunes around can back Blues for a top-six finish at a sizeable 25/1.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing