WE’LL WARM TO HARRY’S GAME
TRUST in Harry. That’s the mantra skipper Michael Morrison wants Birmingham to adopt in their quest for a return to the top flight.
The Blues were flying high in seventh last December before Gary Rowett was sacked. Then, an awful run of form under Gianfranco Zola led to them battling the threat of relegation.
Redknapp was parachuted in to prevent a drop to the third tier and City won their final two games of the season, against Huddersfield Town and Bristol City, to narrowly avoid disaster.
The last-gasp revival also coincided with centre-back Morrison’s return from injury after three months out, but it’s the presence of his 70-yearold manager that has the captain confident of better things this term.
“We were a hard-to-beat, counter-attacking team under Gary Rowett and then we’ve come away from that under Gianfranco, and it didn’t really work for us,” he said.
“Then, it was needs must for the last two or three games, really, when Harry came in – do what we needed to do rather than what we wanted to do.
“So now we’ve been able to work really hard on the training, put Harry’s philosophy into the team and get us playing and get us passing. Still keeping that defensive solidarity but adding a bit more to it and getting a bit more possession.
“It’ll be nice to play a little bit more freely and have a bit more possession probably, and go out and try to win games, rather than protecting (a lead) and trying to catch people on the counter-attack.”
Now fully fit, Morrison, 29, will no doubt be central to his side’s promotion effort and is convinced that Redknapp, with his wealth of Premier League experience at Tottenham, Portsmouth and West Ham, is the right man to bring the good times to St Andrew’s.
The defender added: “Harry knows how to get out of the league and he’ll do what he needs to do to get the team promoted.
“It’s quite interesting actually, playing for him. I’ve got friends that are Tot- tenham players who’ve spoken about him and he’s really high-profile.
“He doesn’t take the full training sessions, but when he steps in and talks everybody listens. You’re well aware that he’s worked with Kev (Bond, assistant) and Paul (Groves, firstteam coach) for a long time. There’s a lot of trust with them. They work really well together.
“Ultimately, if he says something, you know he knows what he’s doing. There’s no second-guessing. He knows the route to success and it’s about following that. “I think our ambitions as a club have lifted with him coming in. We want to be in the playoffs and he’s got experience of getting teams out of the league.
“But, as much as he can be a great help, it’s about what the players do. As much as he’s put us in whatever system he wants, it’s still about the lads doing that on the pitch.”
The Blues lost 1-0 at Ipswich last weekend but then thumped Harry Kewell’s Crawley Town 5-1 in the Carabao Cup last Tuesday with Che Adams bagging a hat-trick.
“We’ve let a few lads go from last season, so a few coming in would help” added Morrison. “Maybe a few more attacking players that can really make a difference would be good.
“Squad depth makes a big difference after Christmas.”
AT FULL STRETCH: Birmingham City’s Michael Morrison, left
WISDOM: Harry Redknapp