Birmingham City’s Harlee Dean insists that he was not having a dig at Aitor Karanka with his celebration against Reading in Lee Bowyer’s first game.
The Spaniard, who was not at all popular with the fans, left Blues in March after a poor run of results, with Bowyer taking charge.
And, his appointment brought an immediate reaction, with Birmingham beating Reading 2-1, with Dean getting on the scoresheet. After he netted, the centre-back appeared to mimic Karanka, which many took as a disrespectful message, indicating the ex-Middlesbrough chief wasn’t liked among the players either.
However, speaking to the Daily Mail, Dean insists the idea of the celebration was brought up by someone else, and he claimed Karanka would’ve found it funny.
“It was a bit of joke. Someone mentioned to me pre-match that if I scored I should do it, but I hardly ever score. Then when I did, it must have been in my head – but it was just a bit of a laugh. I’m quite an open character and I’m not worried about saying or doing things.
“I’m sure if Aitor had seen it, he’d probably have laughed. It wasn’t intended to be taken as a dig. It was just a bit of humour.”
Dean is sure to be involved as Blues look to make it back-to-back home victories for Bowyer when they take on Swansea tomorrow.
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This was a very popular celebration among the fans, which says how Karanka was viewed, and I’m not sure many will believe Dean that he wasn’t having a dig.
But, that doesn’t really matter. He made his point and Birmingham picked up a crucial three points in their quest to stay in the Championship that night.
Now, they need to get back to winning ways, with the situation at the bottom very close, although Swansea represent a huge challenge tomorrow night.
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