Lee Bowyer is confident he can revitalise Birmingham City’s fortunes – just like he did when he took charge of Charlton Athletic.
Bowyer quit as Addicks manager on Monday morning with confirmation coming on Tuesday evening – just before the South London club kicked off against Bristol Rovers – that he has signed a contract with the Blues until the summer of 2023.
Johnnie Jackson took caretaker charge for tonight’s 3-2 win which leaves Charlton still in the hunt for the League One play-offs.
But Bowyer still chose to move on after nearly three years of bossing the Addicks, who came under new ownership in late September when US-based Dane Thomas Sandgaard acquired the football club.
Bowyer told Blues TV: “It’s an honour. It’s a massive club and one I’ve got a previous relationship with.
“It was tough to leave Charlton. We’ve created a lot of good memories, and Charlton fans hadn’t had those memories for a long, long time. When I took over it was in a bad place. I was able to turn that around.
“I’ve done three years there and when I had the opportunity to come here, it was the right time for me to move on – a new challenge. I understand it is going to be a challenge. But that’s the person I am. I love a challenge and I have to keep pushing myself. I feel I can help the club. I did that at Charlton – improved the place – I believe I can do the same here. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be sitting here now.
“I believe I can get these players going again. When I first took over at Charlton the fans and the players had this distance – the staff and everyone was down. It’s the same here. I know we haven’t got the fans here and they’d play a massive part.
“We have to pull together now because the run-in is tough. We have to tick one box at a time. I sat down with the owner this afternoon, he said some kind words and I said: ‘I want to be here a long time and I want to try and help get this club back to where it belongs’. I signed the lengthy contract I did because I didn’t want to just be here for a little while – I want to be part of it. I know what the possibilities are here, and I want to be in charge of that.
“I’ve learned a lot in the three years – because I guarantee managers have not had to deal with what I have in 10 years. It’s made me stronger. I’ve learned a lot, and I will keep learning.
“From what I understand, the team has never been in the top-10 since I left – which is crazy.”
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