Next Permanent Birmingham Manager: Could former Blues boss Chris Hughton return?by Jack Kitson / 19 June 2019, 11:00Tweet
Birmingham City fans have been left crushed following the club’s decision to sack Garry Monk, the manager who had rejuvenated the Blues since his arrival 15 months ago.
Monk's assistant Pep Clotet has been named caretaker manager, as Birmingham open up the search for their fifth permanent boss since Gary Rowett’s controversial sacking two-and-a-half-years ago.
We take a look at four of the early contenders in the next Birmingham manager market...
Clotet ventured into coaching in his 20s, and held various roles in Spain, Sweden, and Norway, before he ventured over to Swansea to take up the position of academy consultant under Michael Laudrup.
He was elevated to assistant manager under Garry Monk, with whom he’s since followed to Leeds and Birmingham. In between those spells he had a short 36 match spell in charge of League One outfit Oxford, his first managerial role in England.
Question marks remain over his ability as an outright manager, but should he be given the chance, Clotet will be hoping he can build on the good work implemented by Monk (and himself), and in the process re-chain the link between fans and club following Monk’s controversial exit.
Could the appointment of Xavier prove to be the Calm after the storm? (sorry)
Calm represents a surprise addition in the betting at 9/2, although he’s as short as 2/1 with Bet Victor.
He's has just completed his first season in management with Spanish third-division side UE Cornella where he won 16, drew 16, and lost nine of his 41 matches.
However, according to various - unconfirmed - reports he’s already on his way to Birmingham, not to take over the first team, but instead oversee the U23s.
Earlier this month Nigel Adkins revealed he will leave Championship side when his contract expires at the end of June, after 18 months at the helm. Adkins led the Tigers to survival in 2017/18, followed by an impressive 13th place last season.
The contagiously positive Adkins, a former physio, is best known for leading Southampton to back-to-back promotions from League One up to the Premier League, while he’s previously held posts at Scunthorpe, Reading, and Sheffield United.
Adkins can currently be backed at 9/1 to make a swift return to the Championship dugout.
Steve McClaren, Gus Poyet, and Chris Coleman also feature in the betting, although it’s former Birmingham Chris Hughton who catches the eye at 16/1.
Hughton led Birmingham during the 2011/12 season; overseeing their Europa League campaign, and steering the club into the play-offs (4th) - their highest finish since then is 10th.
In fact, in his four full seasons working in the Championship he's never finished lower than 4th; leading both Newcastle and Brighton up to the top-flight.
Last month he was rather harshly sacked by Brighton last month despite securing Premier League survival twice following their promotion in 2017
Could he now return to St Andrew's?