STEVE SETS SIGHTS ON THE PREMIER

New Blues boss has long-term plan

The Football League Paper - - TFLP - By Char­lie Peat

NEW Birm­ing­ham City boss Steve Cot­ter­ill says the club de­serve to be in the Premier League – de­spite cur­rently lan­guish­ing in the Cham­pi­onship’s bot­tom three. Cot­ter­ill was part of Harry Red­knapp’s coach­ing team last sea­son when the for­mer Tot­ten­ham man­ager came in with three games to go and saved the Blues from rel­e­ga­tion.

Cot­ter­ill opted not stay on in the sum­mer as Red­knapp’s as­sis­tant but is look­ing for­ward to get­ting the club back to win­ning ways, hav­ing been ap­pointed last week­end.

The for­mer Bris­tol City and Burn­ley boss was in the stands for last week­end’s 6-1 de­feat by Hull but be­lieves the club need to be in the top flight.

He said: “For this club, the Premier League is ev­ery­thing. It is a Premier League club. The peo­ple who work here are Premier League. We have Premier League sup­port­ers and a Premier League fan­base.

“And we have to make sure we do our best to get back up there.

“But that is a long-term plan. The short-term plan is to get away from the rel­e­ga­tion zone. My pri­or­ity is to get on the train­ing ground with the play­ers. That is where I want to be.

“I want to get to know the lads. I only had about a month with them last sea­son. It takes a long time to get the in­gre­di­ents for a per­son and work out what makes them tick.

Strong

“They will have a man­ager who will be strong, but a man­ager who will be strongly be­hind them.”

And the 53-year-old doesn’t be­lieve his per­sonal con­tri­bu­tion to last year’s rel­e­ga­tion es­cape has been un­der­es­ti­mated.

“No, I don’t think so,” added Cot­ter­ill. “I’m not into the so­cial me­dia side of it so I don’t know what the talk is. If peo­ple think that I had a big role to play, I’m very hum­bled by it.”

Cot­ter­ill’s first game in charge is at home against league lead­ers Cardiff on Fri­day.

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

IN GOOD VOICE: Steve Cot­ter­ill wants to give Birm­ing­ham sup­port­ers plenty to shout about

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