Birmingham City issue statement as Gary Rowett previews Norwich

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The Blues favourite previews Saturday’s big game against Norwich City by discussing the enormity of the fixture.

Gary Rowett says survival will be for Birmingham City and its supporters rather than his own personal pride should he guide them to safety at the weekend.

Blues find themselves in real danger of dropping into League One with the team occupying the third and final relegation spot. They are a point behind Plymouth Argyle and two off Plymouth Argyle and Sheffield Wednesday who can go down. Norwich City are Birmingham's opponents and the Canaries already have their play-off spot wrapped up but are playing for fifth place to earn a more favourable tie.

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Plymouth are at home against Hull City who are pushing for the play-offs and could overtake West Brom. Sheffield Wednesday are away at Sunderland meanwhile Blackburn Rovers face Leicester City who have already wrapped up the Championship title.

Rowett finds himself in a position that not many would have envisaged him being in. The 50-year-old was at Millwall at the start of the season but left in September, and he became the sixth person to take on the role as Birmingham boss after Mark Venus stepped aside for him in March. He has played and managed the club and is desperate to keep a club he holds so dear to his heart in the Championship.

When asked what it would mean to keep the club in the division, he said: “It would mean a lot to me because of the fans, it'd mean a lot to me because of the job that I have been brought in to do. It's a strange scenario, sometimes at this stage of the season it is hard to build certain things in to the group in such a short space of time.”

“It boils down to this one game. I think over 46 games we haven't shown the consistency for different reasons which you know is not for me to answer. I think in the seven games we've had we've been pretty close. We've been more resilient, found a balance but not quite a balance to win enough games and get enough points.

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He added: “We have another opportunity to do it, if we can do it fantastic but it will be for the fans. It won't be so I can sit there and pat myself on the back, that's not what it is about.

“It will be about the club and the fans. I'll have done my job properly and I can go away on holiday somewhere nice.”

A club statement was published by the club on Thursday evening, responding to a report about Gary Rowett’s role at the club.

It read: “Birmingham City Football Club wishes to issue the following response to a media report relating to Interim Manager, Gary Rowett.

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“The timeline of Rowett’s tenure remains the same as when he was appointed in March. He will oversee the Men’s First Team for the final game of the Sky Bet Championship season against Norwich City on Saturday.

“Tony Mowbray remains the Club’s First Team Manager and the football club expects everyone to remain respectful of his circumstance.”

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