View from the opposition: Gianfranco Zola struggling to make an impact at Birmingham

Gianfranco Zola surprisingly replaced Gary Rowett as Birmingham City manager in December. Picture: N

Gianfranco Zola surprisingly replaced Gary Rowett as Birmingham City manager in December. Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Norfolk Bluenoses Supporters Club member Andy Black isn't feeling particularly optimistic ahead of Birmingham City's trip to Norwich City.

Craig Gardner has rejoined Birmingham City on loan from West Brom for the remainder of this season.

Craig Gardner has rejoined Birmingham City on loan from West Brom for the remainder of this season. Picture: Julian Herbert/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Has the decision to replace Gary Rowett with Gianfranco Zola been a total disaster?

The new owners for whatever reason decided to replace Rowett, who the fans including myself thought was great. He turned around a team that had been beaten 8-0 at home, gave us hope when we had no money coming in and had to sell the better players to keep afloat, into a top 10 side.

Zola has taken over a team which played a particular way, counter-attacking football. We often played with one up front and Zola has tried to make a group of players play more creative attacking football. He has now gone eight games without a win the worst start of any manager since I believe 1888, he has now brought in five players and has no more excuses. He won't be sacked so we are going to have to stick with him and hope he sticks at it.

Clayton Donaldson scored twice in Birmingham's 3-0 win over Norwich City at St Andrew's in August bu

Clayton Donaldson scored twice in Birmingham's 3-0 win over Norwich City at St Andrew's in August but has not played for the Blues since mid-December due to a calf injury. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd


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Do you think your chances of a play-off place are already over?

The play-offs are a distant dream now and to be fair, with the team we started the season with, I feel was always beyond us.

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Which players have impressed so far this season?

Striker Lukas Jutkiewicz a great addition and Tomasz Kuszczak a consistent keeper.

And which have been a disappointment?

Brought when we had very little money coming It would have to be midfielder Diego Fabbrini, always promised good things but didn't deliver.

Are you hoping to see any late transfer business completed?

Most of our transfer dealings have already been done. Craig Gardner was very good business, a firm favourite with the fans and a Bluenose himself. We seem to have had a clear idea as to who we wanted and if we have missed a particular target had a second option in place. So we may be after one more player, possibly another defender.

Have you been surprised to see Norwich struggle?

A little bit, Norwich don't seem to have added to the squad this season only gotten rid of players, Nathan Redmond being one who may prove a mistake.

What is your prediction for today's match?

I would like a win, as we have to win sooner or later, but would settle for a draw. We are really missing Clayton Donaldson at the moment.

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