Birmingham City

Birmingham City


Wayne Rooney backs himself to take Birmingham City to ‘next level’; hints dropped for next two transfer windows

Wayne Rooney smiling

Birmingham City have announced the appointment of former Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney as their new manager to replace John Eustace.

TEAMtalk recently confirmed Rooney was close to getting the Birmingham job after leaving MLS outfit DC United and he has now been unveiled by the Championship club, who have handed him a three-and-a-half-year contract.

It comes after they dismissed Eustace despite occupying a play-off place by the time of the October international break. Rooney is now back in English football for the first time since his spell in charge of Derby County.

After the announcement, Rooney told his new club’s official website: “I am absolutely delighted to be joining Birmingham City Football Club at such an exciting time.

“It is very clear that they have a plan and are committed to realising their ambition for the club. We are fully aligned on what is expected.

“I have been building my managerial career, putting myself in challenging environments, to get me ready for this opportunity. It’s a project that gives me a sense of purpose and I can’t wait to get started.

“We have some exciting young players in the squad, and some who are still to break through into the First Team, alongside a core of experienced senior professionals. I have a clear way that I want the team to play, and my coaching staff and I will work hard to implement it. We will create a winning culture here with an identity that gets Blues fans on their feet.

“I’ve played at St. Andrew’s and Birmingham City fans were always loud and passionate about their team. It was a really difficult place to come as an opponent and now I get to experience what it is like to have them behind us.

“My job is to elevate the Club to the next level and I can’t wait to get started. I know what the expectations are and our job is to deliver.”

Rooney to assess squad before January transfer window

Rooney’s task will not only be to showcase how he can improve the players already at his disposal, but also to use his connections to upgrade the Birmingham squad.

Indeed, Blues CEO Garry Cook confirmed the timing of Rooney’s appointment was with the next two transfer windows in mind.

Cook added: “We are incredibly excited by Wayne’s arrival. When the opportunity presents itself to appoint a manager who shares your ambition and is both a student and a great of the game, then you act. This is what we have done.

“We are confident that his appointment, supported by his hand-picked coaching staff, will culminate in a young, attack-minded team that will excite our fans.

“The timing of the appointment will allow Wayne to evaluate the playing staff and work with Craig Gardner on the squad’s recruitment needs ahead of the January and Summer transfer windows. This is a defining moment for the Football Club.”

As previously speculated, Rooney has appointed Ashley Cole and John O’Shea to his coaching staff, although both of them will be permitted to combine their roles with their existing duties with their respective national teams. Cole is the assistant coach for England’s under-21s and O’Shea is the assistant for the Republic of Ireland senior team.

Rooney’s backroom staff will also consist of Carl Robinson and Pete Shuttleworth, who were both by his side at DC United.

Birmingham have been out of the Premier League since 2011 and finished 17th in the Championship last season.