Ex-Birmingham City defender will return to St. Andrews as manager on Monday - report

According to reports tonight, Burton Albion boss Gary Rowett is set to be named as the new Birmingham City manager.

Birmingham City's 2011 Carling Cup final win over Arsenal feels like a long, long time ago. Just month after that triumph at Wembley, the Blues were relegated to the second tier, and despite reaching the play-offs in 2012 under Chris Hughton, life under his replacement Lee Clark was nothing short of disastrous.

His first season wasn't too bad, finishing seven points clear of the Championship drop zone, but last season, his deficiencies as a manager really showed up. It took a dramatic last minute equaliser at Bolton Wanderers on the last day from Paul Caddis to keep Birmingham in the second tier, and despite a raft of new signings arriving at St. Andrews in the summer, Clark was sacked last week having won only 28% of his games in charge.

Caretaker Malcolm Crosby took charge of the side against Bournemouth on Saturday, but the 8-0 drubbing handed out by the Cherries means that not only will he not be getting the job, but whoever does will be undertaking a huge task.

And now, we know who will be taking the job - Gary Rowett. The 40-year-old, who played for Birmingham as a player, has been managing Burton Albion since May 2012, and has earned plenty of plaudits for taking the Brewers to the League Two play-offs in both of his seasons in charge at the club.

Widely regarded as the most promising young manager in the Football League, Rowett has also been coveted by Blackpool recently but he turned down a switch to Bloomfield Road this season.

The chaos at the seaside wasn't right for Rowett, but reports tonight suggest that Rowett is set to be unveiled as the new Birmingham manager on Monday after a deal was struck between the two clubs for his services today.

Make no mistake - Rowett will be tested heavily upon his return to Birmingham, in a move which could make or break his reputation which he's built so well over the last 18 months or so.

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