Lee Clark delights in last-gasp Birmingham survival

Birmingham City FC - St. Andrews

Birmingham City's injury time equaliser to guarantee Championship survival had manager Lee Clark praising the spirit of his squad.

The equaliser - scored by Paul Caddis in the 93rd minute - was enough to gain a point away at Bolton and secure Championship football next season, relegating Doncaster Rovers in the process. The draw ended a run of five consecutive defeats, and caused Birmingham to end the season on 44 points; just enough to send Doncaster down to League One on goal difference.

Manager Lee Clark - who experienced the highs of what is now the Championship as a player - celebrated wildly with his backroom staff as Caddis headed in the much-needed goal following an in-the-box scramble - replete with goal-line clearance and tumbling players. The emotion shown by Clark was the same he expected of his teams performance, and, after going two goals down, he had nothing but praise for the comeback that ensured.

Speaking after the match, Clark said: "It was unbelievable. I felt for my players, two down and staring down the barrel, because we were excellent all game.

"It was just madness, absolute madness. Mayhem. I used the word 'Armageddon'. If we went down and there's no fresh ownership it would have been difficult to attract the players to League One. That was my fear.

"It's the most satisfying moment and the biggest achievement I've had in football as a player, coach or manager because of the scenario around the club and the parameters I've had to work with."

Clark hopes the club can learn from their near miss, and, although his own future has come into question, has helped stabilise the club for the near future.

Although the 41-year old is being lauded for keeping the Blues in the division, his future is less than certain. A clash between the fans and the owners has led to Clark refusing to confirm his future plans. In an interview with the Birmingham Mail, the ex-Newcastle United man explained the dichotomy of the club, and how he reacts to current affairs.

“Without a doubt it’s tough. People who know me know that even one defeat hurts, so to have had so many, it is a problem.

“In terms of the club and the people I am managing the club for – the supporters – they are second to none.

“I fight for them every day and that’s why it hurts me, because I don’t like to have fantastic support be let down by what’s happening in terms of their club.”

It appears as if Clark will not be at St. Andrews much longer; A-League side Newcastle Jets are reportedly interviewing a candidate - believed to be Clark - for the vacant head coach position in New South Wales. If he does leave, at least he can go in the knowledge that he prevented 'Armageddon' from enveloping Birmingham City Football Club.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch