New Birmingham City manager Harry Redknapp
David Prutton has told Sky Sports that Gianfranco Zola's appointment by Birmingham City was a disaster and backed Harry Redknapp to get a positive reaction when he takes his new side to Aston Villa at the weekend.
After a fairly woeful spell in charge that has seen the Blues go from outside the play-offs on goal difference to just three points above the relegation zone with three games to go, Zola resigned at St Andrew's, swiftly being replaced by Redknapp.
And he has been handed a mouth-watering fixture to kick his tenure off as his Birmingham side travel to Villa Park for the Second City derby.
Prutton has backed Redknapp to make an immediate impact, but predicted that the points will be shared, much like they were in the previous meeting between the two.
"Birmingham have pulled off quite a coup bringing in Harry Redknapp so late into the season. The appointment of Gianfranco Zola has obviously been a disaster and he's fallen on his sword, which I found strange considering there's just a few games left," he told Sky Sports when explaining why he is expecting a 2-2 draw.
Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce
"Redknapp and Steve Cotterill will be barking instructions the Birmingham players and that will have an influence. Steve Bruce's thoughts will be on next season but he will know how important the derby is. With the way the teams are set up at this moment I see things ending level, with Redknapp getting a reaction out of the Blues."
Though Villa are without a win in their last two, they will surely be a difficult team to get the better of with Steve Bruce's men recently going on a run that saw them win seven games out of eight, keeping clean sheets in all of those victories.
And while their position in the table means that they have a lot less to play for than their rivals, they will surely have no problem finding the motivation they need to prepare themselves for such a contest, especially as it could potentially push Redknapp's men closer to the drop zone.