The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Dan Barnes

NEW Birm­ing­ham City man­ager Harry Red­knapp says work on a Pre­mier League pro­mo­tion push has al­ready be­gun.

The 70-year-old for­mer West Ham, Tot­ten­ham and Portsmouth boss was of­fi­cially con­firmed as the Blues’ per­ma­nent man­ager on Fri­day, sign­ing a oneyear con­tract at St An­drew’s.

Red­knapp re­placed Gian­franco Zola with just three games of the sea­son to go and suc­ceeded in keep­ing Birm­ing­ham in the Cham­pi­onship.

He guided the Blues to wins over Hud­der­s­field and Bris­tol City in their fi­nal two matches.

“Plan­ning a pro­mo­tion push starts now. We need strength­en­ing, for sure, but I won’t have a mas­sive bud­get,” said Red­knapp in his col­umn in the London Evening Stan­dard.

“The own­ers want to have a lit­tle bit of a go at it but won’t go crazy.

“They will spend money on the right play­ers, but we will also have to be clever in us­ing the free trans­fer mar­ket.

“There are al­ready two or three play­ers avail­able on frees that I’ve got my eye on. They could do a job for us but I won’t say who they are at this stage.”

Red­knapp is al­ready con­sid­er­ing the prospect of stay­ing beyond his ini­tial year at Birm­ing­ham.

He added: “If things are go­ing well around Christ­mas time and the own­ers are happy with how things are pro­gress­ing, I’m sure there’s a chance we could sit down and look to sort out a sec­ond year.

“My fam­ily re­alise it is what I en­joy do­ing and they sup­port me. It can be stress­ful, of course, but the buzz of Sun­day [a 1-0 win over Bris­tol City] gave me a taste for it again.

“This is a great op­por­tu­nity at a big club and I want to make the most of it.

“I wasn’t sure if some­thing suit­able would come along again and so, now it is here, I just want to get started.”

STAY­ING: Harry Red­knapp

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