Birmingham City’s Championship relegation rivals make managerial appointment that will stun Blues supporters

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John Eustace will return to Birmingham City as Blackburn Rovers manager on Tuesday for a dramatic Championship encounter

Blackburn Rovers have turned to former Birmingham City manager John Eustace to help salvage their season.

Blues supporters were stunned when St Andrew’s chiefs decided to axe Eustace in October. The 44-year-old had Birmingham sitting sixth in the Championship and kept them up against all odds last season.

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However, the new American ownership wanted a blockbuster appointment so hired Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney. As it turned out, the move proved a disaster, with the Blues pulling the trigger on Rooney less than three months later.

Eustace has waited patiently on the sidelines for another opportunity - and Blackburn have given him exactly that. A club announcement confirmed he will take charge with immediate effect.

“Rovers are delighted to confirm the appointment of John Eustace as the club’s new Head Coach,” the statement read. “The 44-year-old has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal at the club and arrives on the back of a successful spell at Birmingham City.

“A progressive and forward-thinking coach, with a clear football philosophy, Eustace will be joined at Ewood Park by trusted assistant Matt Gardiner, who he worked with at St. Andrew’s.”

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An unexpected twist in City’s season has resulted in a relegation rival appointing their former manager. Just one point separates the two clubs in the Championship, with Eustace dramatically returning to Birmingham on Tuesday.

Speaking following his appointment, the ex-Blues boss insisted he is “excited” to get back into management. Eustace told the club website: “I am excited for this new challenge in my career and can’t wait to get started.

“I am looking forward to being at Ewood Park tomorrow and meeting the supporters, who can play a big part for us between now and the end of the season. I will give my all to ensure the fans have a team they can be proud of and, together, I hope we can quickly start climbing the table.”

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