Redknapp may extend surprise spell with Birmingham


London (AFP) – Harry Redknapp says he is open to extending his shock return to management at Birmingham City beyond the end of this season.

The “football mad” former Tottenham boss, 70, has been hired by Birmingham’s Hong Kong-based owners in a desperate bid to avoid relegation from the Championship following Gianfranco Zola’s resignation with just three games remaining.

Zola, appointed to replace the popular Gary Rowett earlier this season, presided over a wretched run of only two wins from 24 matches which has left Birmingham only three points above the relegation zone.

Redknapp’s brief does not currently extend beyond securing Birmingham’s second-tier survival but if he can achieve that aim, he could be convinced to remain in charge for a crack at promotion to the Premier League.

“It is a challenge, it is a good club. It is three games in two weeks, massive games for us, it is a very difficult situation we are in but I am looking forward to the challenge,” Redknapp said on Wednesday.

“I love football, I am football mad. For sure I could stay, keeping them up is the key to it all, we have to make sure we stay in the league next year.

“I know people criticise the owners but having met the people, they have got big plans and next year will be a big year for the club, we just have to stay in the division this year.”

Redknapp was due to meet his new squad for the first time on Wednesday, but the former West Ham, Southampton and Portsmouth manager doesn’t have long to settle in.

On Sunday, Birmingham travel to arch rivals Aston Villa for his first game, followed by clashes with Huddersfield and Bristol City that will decide his new team’s fate.

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