Andy Hinchcliffe is backing Birmingham City as ‘a team to watch’ under Lee Bowyer next season.
Bowyer took charge at St Andrews back in March with the Blues sitting in a pretty perilous position near to the relegation trapdoor in the Championship.
But since taking the hotseat things have really looked up for the club, with Birmingham taking 17 points from eight matches and securing their second tier status with two games to go.
Attention will now turn to next season, and according to EFL expert Andy Hinchcliffe, Bowyer’s side could be something of a surprise package next time around.
Speaking on the Sky Sports EFL Podcast, Hinchcliffe said: “I remember predicting when he took over, we know the talent that he has, but looking at the games Birmingham had left, maybe the feeling around the club after [Aitor] Karanka left, I saw them going down. But Lee has done an extraordinary job.
“What we’ve seen is, yes, he’s done the job he was brought in to do – to keep them in the Championship, but in that second half against Derby, we can maybe get an idea of the development that he’ll look to bring next season,” he added.
“The pressure is off at the start of the season so he can really implement how he truly wants that team to play. He might bring a few players in as well.
“They have the capabilities of being solid, being route one and very direct and being successful playing that way but also switching to a more footballing style of play with a back-four and a diamond [in midfield].
“I think Birmingham are a team to watch under Lee Bowyer next season because he’s got the balance absolutely right.
“Players are running through brick walls for him, Harlee Dean has been exceptional and he is bringing the best out of Lukas Jutkiewicz.”
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It’s definitely going to be interesting to see how Birmingham City get on next season.
Lee Bowyer’s appointment has been something of a masterstroke so far and the hope now will be that they can kick on next term.
There’s a lot of work to do in rebuilding the Blues but if they can put some solid foundations in place then they have a chance of having a decent campaign.