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Birmingham City searching for new manager after Tony Mowbray departs

Former Blackburn and Sunderland boss wants to return to management when the time is right

St Andrew's, Birmingham

Birmingham City are looking for a new manager after Tony Mowbray informed the club he was standing down to focus on his recovery from surgery.

The former Sunderland boss made a bright start after joining the club in January, winning four of his first eight games, but stepped away from the club in February before taking a medical leave of absence from St Andrew’s in March after undergoing major surgery.

Gary Rowett took over as interim manager for the final eight matches but was unable to prevent the club suffering relegation from the Championship on the final day of the season.

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Mowbray revealed he had watched every Blues match and training session during his recuperation but would not be well enough to take charge of pre-season preparations.

He told the club website: “Over the very recent days it has become apparent to me that I will not be fully fit to resume my duties in the timescale that would allow the club to best prepare for the forthcoming season and therefore, I have regrettably decided to step away from my role.

“Once I have fully recovered, it is important to me that I then spend some quality time with my wife and my boys before I fully commit to work.

“I am extremely grateful to Tom Wagner for the genuine warmth that he has shown towards me during what has been a challenging time, not only for me personally but also for the club.”

Mowbray – who counts West Brom, Celtic, Middlesbrough, Coventry and Blackburn among his previous managerial roles – said Birmingham’s future remained bright.

He added: “I would like to thank everybody associated with the club who has supported me during these unprecedented times, and especially the supporters for your affection, your kindness, and your support. I now become a Blues fan.

“Once I have fully recovered and have spent some quality time with my family, I intend to make a return to football management at the appropriate moment.”

Birmingham City Owner and Chairman, Tom Wagner, said: “We are disappointed that Tony will not be coming back to lead the team forward but respect his decision to put his health and his family first.

“In a short period of time at Blues Tony demonstrated excellent leadership skills and a work ethic that galvanised all around him. He is an outstanding human being and will always be welcome at St. Andrew’s.”

Picture of Alex Hoad

Alex Hoad

Alex has more than 15 years' experience in sports journalism and has reported on multiple Olympics, World Cups and European Championships in additional to Champions League, Europa League and domestic football.