New Birmingham City manager Harry Redknapp has said he “can’t wait to get started” when the new Championship season gets underway in August.
The experienced boss joined the Blues on a temporary basis last month, helping the club secure its Championship status for at least one more season before taking up the manager’s job on a one-year deal.
In an article for the Evening Standard, the 70-year-old wrote of his excitement for his new project, and refused to rule out staying at St. Andrews’ for a second season if he can build on the club’s disappointing campaign last time out.
“If things are going well around Christmas time and the owners are happy with how things are progressing, I’m sure there’s a chance we could sit down and look to sort out a second year”, he said.
“There’s a lot to do between now and then but I’m open to longer if the circumstances are right.
“My family realise it is what I enjoy doing and they support me. It can be stressful, of course, but the buzz of Sunday [the 1-0 win away to Bristol City]gave me a taste for it again.”
The former Portsmouth and Southampton boss has prior experience in the Championship, having steered QPR to an immediate return to the top flight in 2014 following their relegation the previous year.
And with summer transfer dealings beginning to get underway, Redknapp knows he will have to use the free market wisely, and claims he is already eyeing up potential signings as Birmingham look to turn their recent fortunes around and challenge for a place in the top flight once again.
“Planning a promotion push starts now. We need strengthening, for sure, but I won’t have a massive budget. The owners want to have a little bit of a go at it but won’t go crazy. They will spend money on the right players but we will also have to be clever in using the free transfer market.
“There are already two or three players available on frees I have got my eye on who could come in and do a job for us but I won’t say who they are at this stage.
“This is a great opportunity at a big club and I want to make the most of it. I wasn’t sure if something suitable would come along again and so now it is here, I just want to get started.”