Craig Gardner makes request amid poor Birmingham City form

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Craig Gardner makes request amid poor Birmingham City form
© Provided by Football League World Championship – Birmingham City v Swansea City

Birmingham City Technical Director Craig Gardner has begged fans for patience as he, Lee Bowyer and his team build for the long term at St Andrew’s, speaking in an extended interview with the club’s media team.

These comments come in the midst of a torrid run of form for the Blues, going winless in their last seven and claiming just two points from a possible 21 during this run.

After starting the season in a promising fashion, climbing up to fourth last month after an impressive 2-0 win against a usually-solid Derby County side, they now find themselves in 19th position going into this afternoon’s home tie against Swansea City.

With Cardiff City in action against Middlesbrough at lunchtime, they could slip down one further place before 3pm and face a side that will be full of confidence after recent wins against the Bluebirds and automatic promotion candidates West Bromwich Albion.

Beginning his tenure well in the West Midlands after taking over in March and dragging the Blues away from relegation trouble before a good start to 2021/22, this is manager Bowyer’s first difficult spell of his managerial career at Birmingham.

He will need to turn around their fortunes quickly if he wants to retain the hot seat at a club he spent two-and-a-half years at as a player, after previously looking as though he was going to level up the second-tier side after years of mediocrity.

34-year-old Gardner, who was Bowyer’s assistant manager before moving to the Technical Director role, has stressed the need for long-term thinking amid this poor form as he spoke to the club’s YouTube channel.

He said: “We know that the fans haven’t been happy in previous years, but we’re slowly trying to change the whole club.

“From the academy, the first team, the women’s team. We’re trying to change the whole club and we will get there. But what we need is patience.

“For me, I can now start to see slowly the success we’re having in performances, in creating chances, we’ve kept a lot of clean sheets as well, so hopefully now we can turn these tight games, these draws into wins.”

The Verdict:

Craig Gardner was spot on throughout the whole interview, also saying that their record of having so many managers in recent years won’t bring them success.

Unfortunately, Bowyer has the stigma of a managerial relegation on his CV already with Charlton, but he made a great impact when he first arrived in the West Midlands and his early-season form in 2021/22 should give him the time predecessor Aitor Karanka had to turn things around.

Karanka was given until March to sort things out at St Andrew’s before he was given the sack – and the Englishman should also be allowed an extended amount of time to put his stamp on the first team and whisk them away from their mediocrity in recent seasons.

They have spent much of the last five campaigns fighting in the bottom half of the table, but seem to have a good pairing in Bowyer and Gardner to provide them with a longer-term plan and a brighter vision for the future, something they haven’t really had under previous management.

A sacking now would put the Blues back to square one, so the board must remain patient in their quest for success.

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