Who is 'genius' coach Mark Venus, Tony Mowbray’s temporary replacement at Birmingham City?

Mark Venus has been working with Tony Mowbray for 20 years, and that's not even taking into account their time together at Ipswich as players.Mark Venus has been working with Tony Mowbray for 20 years, and that's not even taking into account their time together at Ipswich as players.
Mark Venus has been working with Tony Mowbray for 20 years, and that's not even taking into account their time together at Ipswich as players.
A closer look at the career of Mark Venus, Birmingham City's temporary manager while Tony Mowbray undergoes medical treatment.

Birmingham City have turned to assistant manager Mark Venus to lead the first-team duties following the news Tony Mowbray will be stepping back for six to eight weeks. Blues' head coach has received a medical diagnosis and has been advised to work minimal hours while he undergoes treatment.

Venus, who has been a visible presence on the touchline at St Andrew's @ Knighthead Park in recent weeks, will step in for the period Mowbray is absent. There's plenty of confidence in the former Wolverhampton Wanderers and Ipswich Town defender, whom Mowbray has described several times as a genius.

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"Mark coming with me is important. We are two different human beings. I've talked about not going to university and not having degrees, yet Veno is the cleverest guy I know," Mowbray said during his unveiling on January 11.

"Stocks and shares, knowing which horse is going to win the 3:20 at Kempton... he's pretty bright! I lean on Veno and his brain at times. I bring the emotion and the passion. I think the combination works well," Mowbray explained.

Blues are in good hands, it would seem, but who exactly is Venus, and what experience does he boast? Will Birmingham play in the same style? Do the players trust him as much as Mowbray? Here's everything you need to know about Blues' temporary manager.

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Who is Mark Venus?

Venus, 56, is a former professional footballer and the current assistant manager of Birmingham. He was best known in his playing days for spells at Wolves and Ipswich, though he did also turn out for Hartlepool United, Leicester City, Cambridge United and Dagenham & Redbridge.

Mark Venus has been working with Tony Mowbray for 20 years, and that's not even taking into account their time together at Ipswich as players.Mark Venus has been working with Tony Mowbray for 20 years, and that's not even taking into account their time together at Ipswich as players.
Mark Venus has been working with Tony Mowbray for 20 years, and that's not even taking into account their time together at Ipswich as players.

Within just a few weeks of Venus hanging up his boots, he headed into coaching thanks to an opportunity handed to him by Mowbray. The pair were teammates at Ipswich and Mowbray being hired as the Hibernian boss opened the chance for Venus to become the assistant.

From then began a wonderful partnership as the two players-turned-coaches have worked together at seven different clubs after Hibs. First it was West Bromwich Albion, before spells at Celtic, Middlesbrough, Coventry City, Blackburn Rovers, Sunderland and now Blues.

Venus has been the caretaker boss for three of those seven, too, taking proper charge of several Hibs, Middlesbrough and Coventry games following Mowbray's respective sackings. He then followed his pal to wherever the next destination was.

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Now 20 years into his coaching career following nearly two decades as a player, Venus takes on his next challenge of managing Birmingham in Mowbray's absence. There's not too much change in role as he's the assistant anyway, but he will feel more responsibility. If anything, Venus may shine even more brighty than he already does.

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