Should Birmingham City bring Chris Hughton back to St Andrews?

Chris Hughton

Birmingham City are on the lookout for a new manager after the sacking of Lee Clark and they could do a lot worse than looking to a previous manager.

Chris Hughton took Birmingham City to the Championship play-off's in 2012 in his one and only season at the club. They fell at the semi-final stage to Blackpool before Hughton was poached by Norwich.

In the two years since, The Blues have struggled in the Championship and have looked more likely to exit through the trap door rather than back into the top flight. The sacking of Lee Clark doesn't come as a major surprise following an appalling home record in the last year which has yielded just the solitary win since October 2013. Clark always faced a tough job, and you can't doubt his passion for the role. His reaction to Paul Caddis' goal last season which kept them up shows how much he cared.

Birmingham would be foolish not to bring Hughton in for an interview if indeed he is interested in the job once more. The former Newcastle United manager was relieved of his duties as Norwich boss in April after a difficult season which culminated in relegation eventually. His record at this level is superb however, as shown by the fourth place finish achieved two years ago.

It is well worth noting that the fourth place finish under Hughton came in a season when Birmingham also had to deal with Thursday night games in the Europa League. They very nearly progressed into the knockout stages of that competition, and he managed the squad very well following a summer which saw many of their star players offloaded.

His first permanent managerial job saw him take over at Newcastle in 2009 following numerous caretaker roles, and he easily led them to the Championship title before being harshly dismissed by Mike Ashley when they were sitting in 12th place in the Premier League.

Chris Hughton is one of the good guys in the game and has great respect throughout. Birmingham are looking as if they are facing another season of struggle, and finances are unstable. Hughton is a stable choice as a manager, and he is a thorough coach who will ensure he can get the best out of the side.

Whilst the Birmingham squad isn't of the same standard as when Hughton was in charge it is still capable of pushing for the top half, and play-off's are never an unrealistic target for any club in the Football League. The other usual names will be linked to this job, Steve Clarke, Gianfranco Zola, and Malky Mackay whilst former Blues player Gary Rowett is the bookies favourite. However it makes sense to go with Hughton once more, a man who will settle into the job in no time, and can finish off what he started.

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