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Birmingham confirm appointment of ex-Coventry, Stoke, Watford, Derby player

Birmingham City confirm the appointment of ex-Coventry, Stoke, Watford, Derby player John Eustace as their new head coach.

The Blues sacked Lee Bowyer on Saturday and with the ongoing uncertainty about the club’s ownership situation, they are in for a rather tough season again in the Championship.

Eustace, 42, is available after recently leaving Queens Park Rangers – where he was assistant manager – after Michael Beale was named the Loftus Road outfit’s new boss.


Birmingham City is delighted to announce John Eustace as the Club’s new Head Coach.

Agreeing terms on a three-year contract, his appointment comes ahead of the 2022/23 Sky Bet Championship season and the First Team’s pre-season trip to Portugal next week.

As recently as last month, he was operating in the position of assistant manager at Queens Park Rangers, helping the Hoops to achieve two top-half finishes and install a distinct football philosophy across four years in West London.

Prior to this, the highly-rated 42-year-old took his first steps in management with Kidderminster Harriers in 2016, transforming their style of play and twice leading them to the National League North play-offs and to the first round proper of the Emirates FA Cup across two campaigns at Aggborough.

Since March of this year, he has also fulfilled the role of Assistant Manager for the Republic of Ireland’s Men’s national team, working under Stephen Kenny as they ended the last international break with success over Scotland and a draw on the road against Ukraine in the UEFA Nations League.

Speaking to BCFC.com, Eustace spoke of his pride at taking up the reins in the Second City and outlined his vision for the future.

“I am very proud to be here. Obviously, I am a Birmingham lad and I know the potential of the Club and how important it is to the fans.

“We have underachieved in the past few seasons and a club of this size, with the support that this club has, we need to be aiming higher.

“I can’t wait to get going, meet the staff and get my ideas across to the players out on the pitches as soon as we can.

“The big picture is to get us as competitive as we can, to build a team that the fans are proud of, to play exciting football and win as many games as we can.

“The first thing we have to do is get this squad competitive and ready for that first game of the season against Luton.”

During his playing career as a midfielder, Eustace recorded more than 400 appearances, starting with a seven-year stint at Coventry City that included loan moves to the Scottish and English top flights with Dundee United and Middlesbrough respectively.

An impressive four-and-a-half seasons followed at Stoke City, featuring a temporary move to Hereford United as he returned from injury, ahead of a deadline day switch to Watford in January 2008.

For the Hornets, he would appear 168 times, scoring 13 goals, and captained the side from 2010 until his departure to his final club Derby County, with whom he had spent three months on loan in 2009 and would play for until the end of 2014/15.

Paul Harsley will continue in his role of First Team Development Coach whilst Eustace’s coaching staff will be confirmed in the coming days.

Welcome to Blues, John!


Birmingham City has parted company with Head Coach Lee Bowyer.

The Board of Directors believe this to be the necessary course of action and have acted swiftly ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.

Bowyer leaves the Club after almost 16 months in charge, having helped secure Blues’ Sky Bet Championship status following his appointment in March 2021.

Four victories in his first six games in charge helped lift the Club away from the relegation zone, with survival officially achieved following victory over Derby County two games before the season’s conclusion.

In his first full campaign at the helm, Bowyer oversaw a 20th-placed finish including an opening day victory at Sheffield United and a 5-0 away win over Luton Town.

Despite a promising start to the campaign, results fell below expectations as the season progressed and the Board feel that a change in management is in the best interests of the Football Club at this pivotal stage.

The Board would like to place on record their sincere thanks to Lee for all of his efforts during his time at the Club.

As a player and as a Head Coach, Lee’s commitment and dedication was never in question and we will always be thankful for his contribution both on the pitch and in the dugout.

He will always be welcomed back to St. Andrew’s.

Along with his departure, Goalkeeper Coach, Andy Marshall, has also left the Football Club. We thank Andy for his efforts and wish him every success moving forward.


Fans react as Birmingham confirm the appointment of ex-Coventry, Stoke, Watford, Derby player John Eustace…

@MarkBettridge: #BSHLOUT

@SuperDaveB9: Welcome and all the best. Let’s get behind him.

@Jon_1875: Happy with that. A young manager with a point to prove.

@_LukeStokes_: 100% behind this. Let’s give him a fair chance, it can’t get worse but it could get better 👍🏼

@Adamsbcfc: Welcome John 👍 wish you all the best and a transfer budget

@joshtillz16: If he gets us playing attractive football with a good back line im all for it. But please now make about 10 new signings!

@HarrisonBCFC_: wish him the best of luck

@Zigic_Header: My manager get some players in now

@Colinbloke1980: Very happy with this for good reasons. Up the Eustace.

@Chetts_10: Get them playing lad

@KajeBirmingham: Not who I wanted, but I hope he’s who we need. Welcome, John.

@bcfcgeorge03: Back him and see what he offers. Welcome John.

@toozie9: You’ll get my support 🔵⚪️ #KRO #BCFC

@stellytalks: I don’t even know what to do, say or think anymore to be honest

@Waltonnn_5: 3 year deal is interesting considering the takeover talks and how the new owners will be buying the remaining share of the club 2/3 years after they takeover the 21%.

@sahinbrum: Good luck to him but probably all we could afford.

@zdpj_: Happy with this. A new approach rather than the same crap Redknapp Karanka etc. Good luck to him. Hopefully attractive football once we have the players.

@AndrewD76026913: I will back him just hope the club do

@xxJUKEY: how on earth are people slagging him down already? cut the guy some slack. hasn’t even managed a game with us yet. welcome to blues fella 💙 proper fans are backing ya

@DarrenSmith1975: Got no chance of success especially with ownership, I give him till Xmas

@BloozExtra: Honestly, hope you absolutely smash it. Some job on your hands this season. Good luck, John. KRO 💪🏽👊🏽

@Jak_Collier: Welcome John!! Win us the league with our thin squad and we’ll give you a statue, rename the stadium and give you the keys to the city!

@PowellyMSP19: time to get behind the manager and hope for the best which for me atm is a long shot and that’s staying up, hopefully something is imminent regarding this takeover and players coming in #bcfc #kro

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