Blues boss Rowett plays down Derby speculation

Birmingham City boss Gary Rowett says he “understands” the latest speculation linking him with a job at his former club Derby County.

“We’ve been linked with seven or eight jobs this season,” Rowett claimed.

“This is all testament to how well the team has been playing and the feelgood factor round the club right now.”

 Paul Clement was sacked by Derby earlier in the week, and has been replaced until the end of the season by Darren Wassall.

“I understand the link,” said Rowett, 41, who made 120 appearances during his time with Derby County. “I live in Derby and my lad goes to the games. It’s always a difficult one to hear, but you can write down the list of every team I’ve played for in my career.

“What if the Charlton job becomes available, or Cambridge United or Everton? Am I going to get linked with them too?”

“I read an article the other day which had the headline ‘We don’t want another month of speculation’,” said Rowett. “But, if you’re going to write headlines like that, all that’s going to happen is another month of speculation.

“Like I’ve said many times before we’re incredibly focused on what we’re doing here. And, after losing our last game, all we’re focused on is to try and win the next one and continue this play-off charge.”

Since their defeat against Sheffield Wednesday on Boxing Day,  The Blues’ push for the play-offs had got back on track thanks to a six game unbeaten run.

But then two late Gary Hooper goals in as many minutes last Saturday saw them lose to the Owls for the second time this season, consequently dropping Blues back to eighth in the table.

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