Birmingham City and Crystal Palace look set to battle it out for Steve Cooper. The coach was recently fired by Nottingham Forest after the club slipped to 17th in the Premier League table. Although in two different divisions, Birmingham and Palace are both currently fighting to avoid relegation.

While the two sides are reportedly looking for new managers, they both still have coaches currently at the helm. Wayne Rooney took over at Birmingham back in October after John Eustace was sacked. The former Manchester United star has, however, only managed to collect two wins in 13 total Championship matches. As a result, the club has dropped down to 19th in the table. The Blues were sitting in a fairly comfortable fifth spot when Rooney was named head coach.

Rooney recently claimed to want to replace entire squad at halftime

Not only has Rooney massively underperformed with his new team, but recent postgame comments by the coach have rubbed fans the wrong way. Following a Boxing Day defeat to Stoke, Rooney told reporters that he wanted to substitute his entire team at halftime.

“Ideally, you wish you could have 11 subs as I could have changed all 11 players at halftime,” stated Rooney. “We just weren’t doing the right things – the basics. It wasn’t lack of effort, that would be unfair to say. It was lack of game knowledge.”

“It’s hard to put into words. I didn’t see that performance coming. I didn’t recognize the team out there on the pitch. It’s frustrating because over the last few games we’d made some real strides, so this was difficult to take.”

Although Rooney remains in charge of the team at the moment, things could change rapidly. Birmingham desperately needs to string together some victories to avoid a relegation battle. If Rooney cannot turn things around quickly, Cooper would be a solid potential replacement. The former Forest boss helped take the team to the Premier League ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.

Crystal Palace wants Steve Cooper as savior from relegation

Palace, however, would give Cooper a better opportunity to manage a Premier League club immediately. Roy Hodgson has done a decent overall job during his second stint with the Eagles. The veteran coach took over back in March as the club was previously winless in 12 consecutive top-flight matches. Hodgson, however, picked up three wins in a row in his return to the team. Palace only lost two of their final 10 games with Hodgson at the helm.

Nevertheless, Hodgson has struggled to keep the momentum going in the current campaign. Palace currently sits 15th in the table, just three points from the relegation zone. This gap could shrink soon as Luton Town has an extra game on the fixture list.

Mail Sport reports that Saturday’s upcoming game could be crucial to Hodgson’s future at the club. Palace will be looking to end an eight-game winless run when they host Brentford on the day. A loss could very well be the final straw for the club’s ownership.

The aforementioned news outlet claims that Palace would prefer to wait until the summer to make a managerial change. However, with the club hovering around the relegation zone and Cooper now being available, Palace execs could soon make a significant move.