Birmingham must show how much 8-0 defeat hurt, says new manager Gary Rowett

Blues face a trip to Wolves this weekend following mauling by Bournemouth

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The Independent Online

The new Birmingham City manager, Gary Rowett, insists his players must forget their heavy defeat by Bournemouth last Saturday as he prepares for his first game in charge.

Birmingham go to Wolverhampton on Saturday for their Midlands derby lying second bottom in the Championship after losing 8-0 just 48 hours before Rowett was appointed, leaving Burton to return to the club where he played 106 times between 1998 and 2000.

The new manager said it was vital for the players to move on, declaring: “What do you do? Do you keep mentioning it to the players? The more you keep putting it in their minds, the more it becomes a possibility of that result becoming a habit. I’ve not even mentioned it. It’s about moving forward and dealing with the next game.

“Often, whenever a result like that has happened to my team in the past, we roll our sleeves up and people do care perhaps a bit more than people on the outside think. It will be up to the players on Saturday to show just how much results like that do hurt.”

Wolves will be looking to maintain their promotion push after back-to-back wins over Middlesbrough and Leeds, and their head coach, Kenny Jackett, wants a measured display.

“It has to be controlled aggression because, to make good decisions, you have to be reasonably calm,” he said. “The balance between passion and control is difficult. We didn’t get to grips with the atmosphere at first at Leeds. We started to impose ourselves later. Hopefully, the better we get, the more we will have to learn about how to handle the demands of playing in bigger games.

“In a derby, you have to show control without losing the passion – keeping people on the pitch and reducing suspensions and injuries is something we work hard at.”

The bottom club Blackpool, five points adrift, entertain Ipswich Town with Rowett’s predecessor Lee Clark in charge for the first time following his appointment on Thursday.

The leaders Derby County go to Brentford while second-placed Watford host Millwall. Leeds travel to Cardiff with Neil Redfearn in charge and on the cusp of being named the club’s third permanent head coach appointment of the season. Darko Milanic left the club just 32 days into his tenure last Saturday following the home defeat to Wolves.

“We’re due to win one there,” Redfearn said. “We’ve got to make sure we go there with that mentality. We’ve got to go and get at them, make sure they know they’re in the game. To be fair, the lads have been really upbeat. There’s no lack of confidence and there’s a desire to go and get a result.”

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