05292017

Four points enough for Birmingham to stay up – Redknapp

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Redknapp has ‘no magic wand’ for Blues

Four points will be enough for Birmingham City to maintain their Championship status, says new manager Harry Redknapp.

The 70-year-old was appointed on Tuesday, with Blues 20th and three points above the relegation zone.

Their final three matches are trips to Aston Villa and Bristol City plus a home match against play-off hopefuls Huddersfield Town.

“We need a win and a point,” Redknapp told BBC Radio 5 live.

“Gary [Rowett, former manager] did well when he was here with the same sort of group. He got the best out of them.

“Four points would do it. Easier said than done, but we will give it our best.”

Redknapp, appointed 16 hours after Gianfranco Zola resigned on Monday, has secured four points from his first three games in charge three times in his career.

Should Blackburn and Nottingham Forest both win on Saturday, Birmingham would slip into the bottom three before Redknapp’s first match in charge, which is a trip to local rivals Villa on Sunday.

‘The players have obviously not performed’

Blues, who were seventh in December when Rowett was sacked, went on to win just two of their 24 matches during Zola’s four-month tenure.

Redknapp has not held a permanent managerial position since leaving Queens Park Rangers in 2015, but has had stints as interim manager at Jordan and adviser to Derby County last season.

“The players have put in the club in the position they’re in – you can blame who you like, they’ve obviously not performed,” said the ex-Portsmouth, West Ham and Tottenham boss.

“They’ve got to take responsibility. They’re the only ones who can get us out of it. You can only do so much from the touchline.”

Redknapp, who will be assisted by former Bristol City boss Steve Cotterill, has only been appointed until the end of the season.

“If I can keep them up, next year would be something I’d really fancy,” he added.

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