Birmingham City have had a rollercoaster time of things since the weekend, with a 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Bristol City being the final straw for Aitor Karanka.
The Spaniard’s departure was basically confirmed by all major outlets on Sunday afternoon, but it took for the club until Tuesday to officially announce that Karanka was exiting the club.
And the 47-year-old’s replacement was in the door immediately, with Lee Bowyer stepping into the hot-seat after departing League One outfit Charlton Athletic the day before.
A former player for the Blues who won the League Cup with them in 2011, Bowyer is well-liked at St Andrew’s and his return to the club has brought fresh hope that he will get an extra level out of the players.
The task didn’t come much tougher in his first match as manager for the club last night as they welcomed promotion-chasing Reading to St Andrew’s – but end result only proved that Karanka’s departure perhaps should have come sooner.
Birmingham managed to pick up a 2-1 victory over the Royals, with skipper Harlee Dean scoring the winner and seemingly mocking his former boss by mimicking his patented shrug that was regularly seen in interviews.
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It wasn’t just Dean who was seemingly taking thinly-veiled digs at the Spaniard as well, as striker Scott Hogan’s post-match reaction on Twitter seemed to indicated that it hasn’t been an enjoyable time recently playing under Karanka.
It has a been a while. But I loved every single minute of that game . An absolute pleasure to be part of that group tonight 🔥💪🏼⚽️ even if I didn’t get a shot or goal 😂😂 @BCFC
— Scott Hogan (@ScottHogan_9) March 17, 2021
After Dean’s celebration antics following his goal, it’s probably right to assume that Hogan is taking a little pop at Karanka and his management here.
It was never going to be a massively happy camp considering the results that were coming in, but with Bowyer’s introduction there already seems to be a new-found positivity in the squad.
And if they can pick up more points against top teams like they did against Reading in the coming weeks, then the Blues should be absolutely fine in their battle to stay in the division.