Next Birmingham City Manager: Who could replace Aitor Karanka?

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 15 March 2021, 08:51

Aitor Karanka’s eight month spell as manager of Birmingham City is expected to officially come to an end today (Monday) following a run of six defeats in nine games which has left the struggling Championship club one place above the drop zone.

Karanka cut an absolutely dejected figure in the aftermath of Saturday’s dismal 3-0 defeat to Nigel Pearson’s Bristol City - he has done for some time in fairness - which means he will now exit Birmingham with a disappointing return of just eight wins from 38 games in charge.

That’s a win rate of just 21%.

The Spaniard previously propelled Middlesbrough into the Premier League, but at Birmingham he was unable to wave his managerial wand. He simply had no answers to the club’s poor form - three wins from his last 19 games - and never looked like conjuring up a winning run to steer the club clear of danger.

Changing managers at St Andrews - where they lost a dozen league games under Karanka, three more home defeats than any other club - is nothing new of course, it’s something the frustrated fans have unfortunately become accustomed to in recent times. 

The club’s rapid revolving door policy in regards to incumbents means a multitude of gaffers have come and gone, with Karanka Birmingham’s sixth casualty since Gary Rowett’s surprise back in Christmas 2016.

With just 10 games to go Birmingham (21st), who have played four games more than Rotherham in 22nd, are in severe danger of playing third-tier football for the first time since 1994/95.

23fe9de9d0afb93e41aa9a5a96087bed

Could Neil Harris return for his third Championship job?

The next Birmingham City manager market opened up on Sunday, and it was a familiar face who immediately topped the betting: Tony Pulis.

Earlier this season Pulis could be found in charge of Birmingham’s relegation rivals Sheffield Wednesday, however he was cast aside by the Owls after just 10 games, with his stint lasting all of six weeks between November and the end of December. The Owls are now on their fourth manager of the season, Darren Moore.

Pulis is available, has managed over 1000 matches, and his organisational and structural qualities mean he could be a short-term solution until the end of the season. It may not be pretty, but given the timing he may be viewed as a quick-fix option as the Blues bid to escape relegation.

BirminghamLive reports that former Blues coach Mark Bowen - under Steve Bruce - is interested in a return to the club as manager. The long-time assistant to Mark Hughes ventured into management himself at Reading (October 2019) and to his credit steered the club from the relegation zone up to 14th, before the club surprisingly chose to replace him in the summer with Veljko Paunovic.

E945b0771e379f2f7de672ad1644f087

The Cowleys could be an option

Danny Cowley, who is being linked with the job at Portsmouth, again features as a main protagonist in an EFL manager market. Danny and brother Nicky could have a big decision to make should both clubs come knocking at their door: Return to the Championship and bid to perform another rescue act, like they did with Huddersfield, or attempt to lead a decent-placed League One club to promotion?

Charlton boss Lee Bowyer is also in the frame, as is Lincoln City’s Michael Appleton. Both bosses have their eye on a promotion to the Championship at the moment, so each appear unlikely to leave at this particular point.

The summer could be a different story, although the fact Bowyer played for the club makes things interesting so watch this space, there have been rumours that a deal could be in place.

Yet another name in contention for Portsmouth and Birmingham is Neil Harris, who has plenty of Championship experience on his CV following spells at Millwall and Cardiff City. 

At Millwall he took over towards the end of the 2014/15 season when the club’s relegation fate was virtually sealed, but he orchestrated a return to the second-tier at the second time of asking, then inspired an impressive 8th-place finish. At Cardiff, he featured in the Championship play-offs last season but lost his job at the start of the year following a run of six successive defeats.

Da59633539fc184208a853982e789053

Could Garry Monk return?

Chris Wilder and Frank Lampard are probably out of reach, given the club’s precarious position above the Championship relegation zone. The same applies to John Terry and Eddie Howe. 

Mark Hughes has been doing the rounds on TV recently, where he’s signalled his intent to return to management after a two-and-a-half-year absence, whereas former Birmingham boss Garry Monk is currently out-of-work.

Who knows what the owners will do next. Given that there are only 10 games to go, an internal appointment could well be possible, as has been the case at numerous EFL clubs this season.

Betting Odds Tips

Managers Departed

Last man down

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho
(Tottenham Hotspur)
19th April
VIEW ALL CASUALTIES
x
Bet £10 Get £40 in Free Bets
Exclusive Promo Code
M40
JOIN NOW
#AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using promo code M40 only. 1x per customer. Min £/€10 bet. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Free bets of 2 x £/€15 issued after first qualifying bet settles. Max £/€10 Bonus. 35x wagering requirement. Max redeemable bonus: £25. Casino bonus expires after 72 hours. UK & Eire only. Additional T&Cs, including free-bet, game, location, payment method and stake contributions apply. begambleaware.org.
x
Up to £100 in bet credits
Exclusive Promo Code
100BET365
JOIN NOW
#AD Open Account Offer. Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. The bonus code ‘100BET365’ can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way. 18+ begambleaware.org.
Advert Disclaimer
Thesackrace.com is a free online resource which endeavour to provide helpful and useful content and odds comparison to its visitors. Please be advised that Thesackrace.com accepts affiliate commission from the companies appearing on the site, and agreed commission levels impact the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented on the website. Any ratings that appear on this site is determined by our subjective opinion of the brand but also based on market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, commission paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page don't imply our endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our terms and conditions, all statements and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including odds, which appear on this site is subject to change at any time.
Next in firing line Hottest Manager Markets

Premier League

Next Manager to Leave

Arsenal

Next Manager

Atletico Madrid

Next Manager

Barcelona

Next Manager

Bayern Munich

Next Manager

Celtic

Next Manager

Crystal Palace

Next Manager

England

Next Manager

England U21

Next Manager

Germany

Next Manager

Liverpool

Next Manager

Manchester United

Next Manager

Newcastle United

Next Manager

Paris St Germain

Next Manager

Preston North End

Next Manager

Real Madrid

Next Manager

Republic of Ireland

Next Manager

Southampton

Next Manager

Tottenham Hotspur

Next Manager

Valencia

Next Manager
x
Bet £10 Get £40 in Free Bets
£30 in free sports bets + £10 Casino Bonus #AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using promo code M40 only. 1x per customer. Min £/€10 bet. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Free bets of 2 x £/€15 issued after first qualifying bet settles. Max £/€10 Bonus. 35x wagering requirement. Max redeemable bonus: £25. Casino bonus expires after 72 hours. UK & Eire only. Additional T&Cs, including free-bet, game, location, payment method and stake contributions apply. begambleaware.org.
BET HERE
We use cookies to provide statistics that help give you the best experience of our site. By continuing to use the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more
Got It