EFL

‘No hard feelings’ says John Eustace despite Birmingham return ending in defeat

By Sports Desk February 13, 2024

New Blackburn boss John Eustace said he was happy with the work he did at Birmingham after his side were beaten 1-0 by his former club at St Andrew’s.

Andre Dozzell made the decisive breakthrough in the 77th minute to end City’s 388-minute drought to reward City’s dominance.

The dismissal of Eustace appeared harsh, as he was forced out having led the team to sixth place in the Sky Bet Championship.

Chief executive Garry Cook said Eustace’s ambitions were not aligned with the club’s.

Yet the 44-year-old’s replacement, Wayne Rooney, was sacked after winning just twice in 15 games as the club plummeted to 20th in the table.

“It was great to be back, I had 15 brilliant months here,” said Eustace.

“The most important thing was to not lose. That’s not a good feeling but I’m fully focused on Blackburn now and I wish Birmingham all the best.

“I have no hard feelings, it’s part and parcel of the job.

“If that wouldn’t have happened I wouldn’t have had this opportunity to be manager of Blackburn.

“I was very happy with the work I did, you could see the club grew and I left it in a much better position than when I came in.

“We were playing some really good football when I left so I was happy with the job I did.”

Asked if he was suitably ambitious, he answered: “I think results and performances showed that.”

As Eustace was talking about his time at St. Andrew’s, a supporter came into the media suite and shouted “They should never have got rid of you, John!”

Eustace replied to the assembled media: “Put that in your reports.”

Regarding the game, Eustace said: “It was disappointing. The lads battled really hard but we have to be better with the ball.”

Tony Mowbray’s side were good value for their first win in four matches, which saw them climb within a point of 16th-placed Rovers.

Marc Roberts hit the post and his namesake Tyler missed one-on-one chances in either half.

Eustace’s counterpart and former Blackburn manager Mowbray felt his team were good value for the win.

“It was an important, big, three points because you can’t keep having 23, 25 shots a game but keep getting beaten,” he said.

“We should have scored more goals and if we’d have got three or four it would have given us more confidence.

“I picked a team to show Blackburn that we were up for a fight because they can cut you open.

“Rather than the artists who can drag their foot over the ball, I played the grafters and chasers but the substitutes impacted the game pretty well too.”

Dozzell spared City’s blushes when he poked home after he and Adam Stansfield had shots blocked, before Cody Drameh’s cross fell back into his path off Kyle McFadzean’s foot.

Related items

  • Real Madrid and England midfielder Jude Bellingham wins Laureus award Real Madrid and England midfielder Jude Bellingham wins Laureus award

    Jude Bellingham joined Novak Djokovic and Aitana Bonmati as the big winners at the Laureus World Sports Awards as the England midfielder won the World Breakthrough of the Year prize in Madrid.

    Bellingham became the first footballer to claim the honour the day after scoring Real Madrid’s late winner in their 3-2 El Clasico victory over Barcelona.

    The 20-year-old has had an outstanding first season at Real since joining from Borussia Dortmund last summer, scoring 21 goals in all competitions.

    Djokovic was named Laureus World Sportsman of the Year for a record-equalling fifth time after winning the Australian Open, French Open and US Open to lead the way with 24 grand slam men’s singles titles.

    “I am incredibly honoured to have won my fifth Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award,” said Djokovic.

    “I think back to 2012, when I won it for the first time as a 24-year-old. I am very proud to be here 12 years later, reflecting on a year that brought me and my fans a lot of excitement and success.

    “It was thrilling to return to Australia last January and win my 10th title. It is a tournament that is so dear to my heart and set me up for an incredible 12 months.

    “I could not have achieved so much success without an incredible team behind me, and inspirational rivals who have always pushed me to be the best version of myself.”

    Bonmati took to the stage twice to collect two awards – the first footballer to win the Laureus Sportswoman of the Year trophy and also represent the Spain team which won the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

    She said: “It is humbling to see the list of previous winners of this award.

    “From Serena Williams to Simone Biles, Lindsey Vonn, Naomi Osaka and last year’s winner Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, they are all incredible athletes who have not only excelled in their chosen sports, but been incredible role models for younger generations of young women and girls.

    “As the first women’s team to win the Laureus, we are proud of our status as pioneers and as a group we are as committed to equality and representation as we are to what we do on the football pitch.”

    American gymnast Biles, a three-time winner of Sportswoman of the Year, won the World Comeback of the Year Award.

    Biles collected four gold medals at the World Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, her first global event since leaving the Tokyo Olympics due to mental health issues and entering a near two-year break from the sport she had dominated.

    Other award winners were Rafael Nadal (Sport for Good), Diede de Groot (World Sportsperson of the Year with a disability) and Arisa Trew (World Action Sportsperson of the Year).

    :: The 25th Laureus World Sports Awards took place on Monday 22 April in Madrid, celebrating the leading names in sport from across the globe. To find out more, visit www.laureus.com.

  • FA seeks ‘formal observations’ from Forest trio over comments about officiating FA seeks ‘formal observations’ from Forest trio over comments about officiating

    Nottingham Forest face the threat of Football Association and Premier League charges over their extraordinary attack on the officiating of their match against Everton on Sunday.

    Three Forest members of staff – head coach Nuno Espirito Santo, referee analyst Mark Clattenburg and full-back Neco Williams – have been asked by the FA to explain comments they made about the refereeing at Goodison Park, while the Premier League is also examining the club’s social media post which appeared to question the integrity of VAR Stuart Attwell.

    The statements from the authorities came within hours of Forest demanding the release of VAR audio related to the rejection of three penalty appeals during their 2-0 defeat.

    Forest first issued a club statement on X on Sunday, minutes after the final whistle, in which they said they had “warned” referees’ chief Howard Webb that Attwell “is a Luton fan” but that no change was made to the match appointment.

    The club went further on Monday evening and called on Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) to change its rules on officials’ allegiances to account for “contextual rivalries in the league table”, not just local rivalries.

    The Premier League said it was “extremely disappointed” by the statement issued on Sunday and added: “It is never appropriate to improperly question the integrity of match officials, and the nature of these comments means the Premier League will also be investigating the matter in relation to the league’s rules.”

    Sources have since told PA that Clattenburg did contact Webb on Friday to share that he thought Nuno might be asked about Attwell by the media, but that Forest did not raise Attwell’s appointment as a concern or make a request to change the appointment.

  • Chelsea to take strongest possible action after Nicolas Jackson racially abused Chelsea to take strongest possible action after Nicolas Jackson racially abused

    Chelsea have threatened to bring criminal charges against anyone found to have racially abused Nicolas Jackson in the aftermath of Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final loss to Manchester City.

    The 22-year-old striker missed a number of chances at Wembley as his side bowed out of the cup with a 1-0 defeat and was subsequently the target of abuse on social media.

    The racist comments were left on an Instagram post he had made following last week’s victory over Everton, in which he scored his 10th goal of the season.

    In a statement, the club said: “Chelsea Football Club is disgusted by the racial abuse directed towards Nicolas Jackson via social media, following Saturday evening’s game.

    “There is no place in society for any form of discrimination and we operate a zero-tolerance approach to any incident of this nature.

    “The club will support any criminal prosecutions and take the strongest possible action, including bans, against any individual who is found to be a season ticket holder or member.”

    Defending the Senegal international’s record during his debut season – since signing for Chelsea from Villarreal – manager Mauricio Pochettino said: “Jackson is doing fantastic and he will always have my support.

    “He’s doing an amazing job for the team: running, scoring, assists.

    “It’s not easy in the first season. Nicolas fights for the club and he will be better next season, no doubts.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.