Troy Deeney puts praise on Lee Bowyer after slow start to life at Birmingham City
Boyhood Blues fan Troy Deeney appreciates the work of his new head coach
Troy Deeney has leapt praise on head coach Lee Bowyer as he tries to change the culture at Birmingham City.
The Blues have been involved in numerous battles over the last decade and have barely challenged at the top end of the table.
Deeney’s arrival at his boyhood club coupled with the drive of a former player at the helm is the hopeful recipe for success to change the fortunes of the team
Joined by former Birmingham City forward Clinton Morrison, the pair spoke on the League of 72, a YouTube channel on everything in the English Football League.
He started off by commenting on his arrival, perhaps affecting the rhythm of the team with the bad run of form coming after his arrival following a good start to the season.
Deeney said: “We had a really good start when he first came in, we had a good start this season, the first international break probably killed us.
“I’ve come in at the international break and then it looks from the outside like I’ve come in and messed things up.
“Just going through those spells in seasons you do where there’s games we should have won, we didn’t and we are just on the wrong end of it at the minute.
“But Bowyer has been great, I think he is definitely trying to build something here and that he is the right man to push us up the league and get us to where we want to be.”
The last time Birmingham played in the Premier League was over a decade ago and the closest they have been to a return was a play-off spot in 2012.
Since then, they have only had three top-half finishes, finishing 10th on two occasions.
After the departure of Chris Hughton, Birmingham have had a number of managers and the upheaval has seen them flirt with relegation.
Bowyer in his first season steered Birmingham to an 18th placed-finish and now there is a renewed sense of optimism he can bring back the glory days to St Andrews.
“You are having to change mindsets, when you are in the game you understand that, but for outside people, Birmingham have been, I think three of the last four years, or four of the last five years, the last day stayed up. So the mentality is used to relegation battles.
“But he has come in and is changing that and trying to go ‘This is how you are consistent on a daily basis to get up the league’.”
Arriving at the club at 33-years-old, he is the second oldest player in the squad, younger than George Friend by just a few months.
Second to Deeney is Lukas Jutkiewicz, who has been at the club for over five years and is now 32-years-old.
There is also club captain Harlee Dean, who has been entrusted with the armband since 2019 and has maintained it, despite Deeney’s arrival.
Despite holding the captaincy at Watford, Deeney has come into Birmingham as a mature figure, respecting the current status quo.
“I would say I have tweaked my approach to it a little bit. Would I have loved to come in and take a sledgehammer to the place and say ‘This is how it needs to be’? Of course I would.
“But I am respectful, I think with age you get a bit more respectful. We have already got Harlee Dean who is captain, Lukas Jutkiewicz, as well, a big, solid pro.
“You have got a few lads who have been around the block, they know what they are doing, so you don’t have to come in and necessarily smash it to bits.
“But also I have got to hit the ground running and I haven’t done that. So if I can get back to scoring and doing what I do, I think the respect then grows and you are in a position to start demanding more.
“I am one of those people who unless I am doing my job to the best of my ability then I can’t then demand of somebody else.
“Results haven’t been reflective I don’t think, we have been missing a lot of chances and defending poorly, we expect to put that right next Friday.”
Birmingham are back in Championship action on Friday as they travel to The Hawthorns to face Midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion.
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