Troy Deeney eyes promotion and lauds Birmingham City technical director Craig Gardner
Troy Deeney’s move to Birmingham City was one of the moves of the summer and for the Blues in particular - it capped off their most positive window in many a year.
He may be now 33 and by his own admission, he’s ‘experienced’ but he hasn’t come here to sit still.
If it was anyone else, you may be forgiven for thinking that it was a move to do exactly that but not Deeney.
A man that bleeds blue himself, he’s here to help the club move forwards and he’s not just talking long term.
Everything he mentioned during his introductory presser was surrounding the here and now. He spoke at length about getting the club into the play-offs. Not in two years, now.
“Look at Bournemouth for example - when they got there, [Premier League] they stayed. Watford similarly,” Deeney explained.
“It’s about getting there first and then dealing with it. When you get the £200million in the bank, then we’ll deal with it.
“How do you spend it? Where do you put it? What’s the recruitment process like? Do you have 11 really good players and a really poor bench? And then you need to get looking.
“We’ve seen huge clubs go down. Sheffield United are a massive club and they’ve gone down. Fulham, they are down.
“The Championship is so gruelling that it levels itself out. You’re playing over 50 games in a season. The intensity of the Championship you have to be really on it so I think it levels itself out.
“Fulham are going to be the clear favourites with the spending power they have. Bournemouth look OK. West Brom look good as well.
“It’s on us now to be the fourth or fifth because there will be three or four places - like Barnsley last year, where you can get in there and make a real nuisance of yourself.”
The realism and passion to which he spoke about the team was so refreshing.
And whilst it may seem like a wild ambition to some, his commitment to the cause was clear for all to see and it’s those exact ambitions and values that he says are now aligned with all the people that matter most within the club - most importantly, Craig Gardner.
“The way he [Gardner] handled my situation was first class.
“First and foremost, he never stopped calling which was a bit of a pain in the arse but he was good. He handled it and he did what he had to do to get me to come here.
“Our conversations were never about money and that’s what I really enjoyed.
“I won’t name some of the other clubs we spoke to but when we spoke with them it was all money based first and not what the ambition of the club was.
“And that’s what he’s here to do, he’s here to drive it.
“Many people have different styles of negotiating but he was honest and straight up and that’s what attracted me to it. If you’re straight up and to the point, I’m always going to be more receptive.
“His vision for the club, with the manager’s, is totally aligned and I think that’s a really important thing for the future of this club.”