Birmingham City 'in talks' with Tony Mowbray stand-in as ex-Sunderland head coach receives treatment

There has been a big managerial update concerning one of Sunderland's rivals in the Championship.
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Birmingham City are reportedly in talks with Gary Rowett over a short-term stint at the Championship club.

Blues head coach Tony Mowbray confirmed earlier this year that would be spending a spell away from the touchline at Birmingham City as he undergoes treatment for a health issue with his assistant Mark Venus placed in temporary charge of the team.

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Mowbray, who oversaw a 2-1 victory over his former club Sunderland last month before announcing the decision, said he would be away from the touchline for a spell of around six to eight weeks but would still be undertaking many of his duties and offering advice to the coaching team.

However, his return to the dugout at Birmingham City does not appear to be imminent with the club's American owners now exploring the possibility of bringing former Millwall man Rowett to the club on a short-term basis.

The Telegraph's John Percy took to social media to say: "Gary Rowett in talks with Birmingham City over short-term appointment as interim head coach/consultant. Former Blues manager set to be confirmed later today. Birmingham acting with club currently outside relegation zone on goal difference."

Mowbray was named manager of Birmingham in January, just over a month after he was sacked by the Black Cats. Following his appointment at the Stadium of Light in August 2022, Mowbray, a former Middlesbrough captain and manager, led Sunderland to the play-offs last season before departing.

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Ex-Everton and Derby County player Rowett was sacked last year following four seasons in charge at The Den after the club slipped to 15th in the Championship. Millwall gained four wins from their opening 11 league matches this season and were just three points off the play-off places before Rowett's dismissal.

Rowett spent two years as manager of Birmingham City between 2014 and 2016 taking charge of 106 games before stints in control of Derby County, Stoke City and Millwall. Meanwhile, Sunderland remain on the lookout for a solution to their head coach problem during the summer with Mike Dodds in interim charge until the end of the season following the sacking of Mowbray's successor Michael Beale.