Birmingham City will play out their first Championship game without Wayne Rooney this weekend when they play hosts to Swansea City at St. Andrews after a dreadful run under the former Derby County manager saw them plummet to 20th.
Prior to Rooney's addition to the helm in the Midlands, Birmingham were well within a shout of a rare chance for a spot in the playoffs after many years of struggling in the second tier. Rooney would win only two games within three months of being in charge of Birmingham, losing nine games and drawing the other four of the 15 fixtures. This saw him put together a 13.3% win ratio.
Tony Mowbray is now in charge after the Blues drew 1-1 with Hull City, where Lukas Jutkiewicz secured a replay back at St. Andrew's. Birmingham have also gone five games without a win after securing one of the two victories under Rooney that witnessed the club edge past promotion hopefuls Cardiff 1-0. They have since gone on to lose at home to Leicester City and Stoke City by letting in three goals in both matches, and they let in a further three when they drew 3-3 with Plymouth Argyle at Home Park.
Another three goals would be let in from Rooney's final game in charge after a 3-0 loss away to Leeds United, as they also drew 0-0 with Bristol City at the end of December. A further goalless draw with Rotherham United at the start of last month and a defeat away to Coventry City has seen Birmingham move to within only six points of relegation.
Things haven't been much better for Swansea with the club sitting down in 16th and only above the Blues by four points. In truth, it's been another dull campaign for the Swans and it's doubtful we will see them put together a run towards the playoffs.
Swansea did edge past Morecambe in their FA Cup third round tie 2-0 to set up a match with Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium at the end of the month. They did, however, suffer a 5-0 loss to Southampton, a 2-1 defeat at home to Middlesbrough and draws with Stoke, Huddersfield and Coventry throughout December. The only wins the South Wales outfit have on the board from the past month have seen them beat West Bromwich Albion and Preston North End.
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