The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP -

THE mis­ery of the Gian­franco Zola months might not con­demn Birm­ing­ham to League One.

It’s all on the last day now as Birm­ing­ham’s big­gest crowd for six years of 26,914 lifted them to a cru­cial win. The last time St An­drew’s was this full was May 2011 when Birm­ing­ham were in the Premier League, and you can bet there will be thou­sands of Blues fans on the road to Bris­tol City a week to­day.

Zola earned only 13 points from his 22 league games in charge, the club drop­ping like a stone from pro­mo­tion con­tenders to rel­e­ga­tion dan­ger.

But ’Appy ’Arry Red­knapp has brought a smile and con­fi­dence back to the club in only a cou­ple of weeks.

They were back to the fight­ing, hard-to-beat team Gary Rowett built be­fore be­ing jet­ti­soned, amaz­ingly, for Zola in De­cem­ber.

Birm­ing­ham’s spirit is strong once more and if they can equal or bet­ter what Black­burn or For­est do they will sur­vive.

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