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Birmingham City sack Harry Redknapp afrer loss to Preston North End

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Birmingham sacked Harry Redknapp on Saturday night, but after the manager left St Andrew’s he defiantly claimed he would have brought Premier League football back to the club.

The 70-year-old former Tottenham boss was brought in on a rescue mission at the end of last season and kept City in the Championship. But the club have lost seven of their 10 games in all competitions this term, including their last six, following a 3-1 home defeat to Preston.

That reversal proved to be the final straw for the board and City released a statement which read: “Unfor­tunately due to the poor start to the campaign which sees the club second from bottom of the Championship, we are left with no choice but to terminate the contract of the manager with immediate effect.”

According to the Daily Telegraph Redknapp was adamant he would have delivered success, and claimed he was hamstrung by injuries and deals that did not get done during the transfer window.

That excuse will surprise some given Redknapp signed 14 players for £20 million in the summer after signing a contract worth £1.75 million to take charge for this season.

“I’m disappointed. It’s been difficult, I have had one week with a new team and new players, one week,” Redknapp told The Birmingham Mail.

“It’s not an excuse but today I had three of the forwards missing who I would have picked, probably the three most exciting players in all honesty.

“It takes time to build a football team, not one week. I didn’t get the players in I was after in pre-season and suddenly I have got a load of players in.

“A lot of the targets I was after I couldn’t get over the line. And I still felt that given time I would have given them a team that would have been challenging for promotion, I had no doubt about that. Maybe not this year but over the next two years I would have got promotion.

“I had to do well this year but I would have stayed because I loved it there, absolutely loved my time there.

“I am not an idiot, I am not a silly  person who goes around saying things, I think I have been round long enough.”

Assistant manager Kevin Bond has also left the club. Lee Carsley will take charge of Birmingham as a caretaker, with the likes of Alan Pardew and Nigel Pearson being touted as replacements.

JB