Five things Harry Redknapp must do to ensure safety
Harry Redknapp faces one of the biggest challenges of his 33 year managerial career in attempting to keep Birmingham City in the Championship.
Rob Wildey, Vital Birmingham Content Editor, discusses five things that Redknapp must do to ensure Blues aren't playing in the third tier next season.
1. Unite the squad
Watching Blues in recent weeks, it's pretty obvious that there is a divide in the dressing room which came into the public domain after Good Friday's draw at Rotherham. In the aftermath of the game, Emilio Nsue and Lukas Jutkiewicz had to be separated by team mates as emotions ran high.
Redknapp is an experienced man manager and will have to bring the squad together. What better place to show a united front than at Villa Park?
2. Simplify the system
One of the biggest criticisms of Gianfranco Zola's reign was the complicated nature of his tactics. Blues used numerous formations under the Italian which led to a rapid decline of results - the players seemed clueless.
Redknapp will keep it simple using a 4-3-3 or 4-5-1 formation and look to organise his side and keep it tight.
3. Get the fans on side
Blues fans were very patient during Zola's disastrous tenure and it wasn't until the Rotherham game, Zola's 23rd at the helm, that the fans chanted for his head.
Now Zola has gone, Redknapp offers the fans hope. If Blues can avoid defeat at Villa Park on Sunday, St. Andrews will be rocking when Huddersfield visit six days later. Hopefully a vocifurous home support can push Blues over the line.
4. Feed the strikers
Blues don't have a prolific goal scorer but they do have players who can stick the odd chance away. However, decent service is a must.
Lukas Jutkiewicz and Che Adams, Blues' regular attacking options, have been feeding off scraps. Let the wide players put balls into the box from all angles, look for the direct balls to the front...give the strikers half a chance.
5. Stick to basics when defending
Blues have been all over the place at the back recently and have been trying to play football from back to front. Zola instructed his defenders to pass the ball out of danger.
Redknapp will expect his back four to defend first and foremost - snuff out the danger. Let the attacking players play, let the defenders defend.