Birmingham have sacked head coach John Eustace despite a bright start to the season, increasing rumours of former England captain Wayne Rooney taking charge at the club.
Eustace led Birmingham to safety last season, while a come-from-behind 3-1 derby win over West Brom on Friday left Blues sixth in the Sky Bet Championship after 11 fixtures heading into the international break.
While Birmingham recognised in a statement Eustace had “helped to stabilise and strengthen the club” in his 15 months at the helm, they have decided to part company with the ex-Republic of Ireland assistant.
Birmingham City has today parted company with Head Coach, John Eustace.
— Birmingham City FC (@BCFC) October 9, 2023
“It is essential that the board of directors and the football management are fully aligned on the importance of implementing a winning mentality and a culture of ambition across the entire football club,” the statement on Birmingham’s official website said.
“With this in mind, Birmingham City has parted company with head coach John Eustace.
“A new first-team manager will be announced in the coming days who will be responsible for creating an identity and clear ‘no fear’ playing style that all Birmingham City teams will adopt and embrace.”
Eustace succeeded Lee Bowyer in July 2022 and helped Birmingham finish nine points above the drop zone in the second tier amid off-field issues surrounding the ownership of the club.
Despite just three defeats so far this season, it was reported over the weekend Eustace’s position was under threat as the club’s new American owners sought a big-name appointment.
Former Manchester United striker Rooney would seemingly fit the bill after he announced on Sunday he would be leaving DC United following their failure to qualify for the Major League Soccer play-offs.
“It’s just the right time,” he said in quotes reported by the Washington Post.
“I have really enjoyed my time here. But I just feel it’s the right time to go back to England. What lies ahead, I don’t know.”