The real Birmingham City stood up for Gary Rowett in Norwich City win

Gary Rowett has been sacked as manager of Birmingham City. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images L

Gary Rowett has been sacked as manager of Birmingham City. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Gary Rowett knew Birmingham City had to make life uncomfortable to get the better of one of the Championship's premier sides in Norwich City.

Rowett and his men delivered the perfect response after stiff criticism following a 3-1 Championship derby defeat at home to Wolves.

'We played a little bit more on the front foot and it's always a difficult one for us, because we've been so good with the style we've had,' he said. 'I felt it was only right for the fans to try and be a little bit braver and we certainly got our rewards.

'They're a real honest bunch and I'll be open and say we had really strong words last week after Wolves. That was probably the strongest we've been in the dressing room in terms of what we weren't happy about.

'That was me with them and them with us. I think that's what it should be and we should all care. We should all really need to drive each other forward.

'I've just said to the players after this one, that should be our core basics. If we work that hard, we'll win a lot of games this season. If someone turns up and wins when we've run that hard, I'll hold my hands up. I can accept that.'

Rowett was determined to unsettle Alex Neil's visitors.

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'It was out of character for us (against Wolves) and that was real problem for me,' he said. 'I think we've come in for heavy criticism, perhaps unnecessarily, but that's the job. I think for the players to show that level of decisiveness on the pitch and quality under pressure against probably one of the best teams in the division, we answered those critics really well.

'We've come a long way in 18 months. We're not going to keep going all the time in an upwards direction, we'll get little blips. But I thought we showed that when we're a team, when we work hard together, when we close the ball down with a little bit of aggression, we're more than a match for anybody.'