John Eustace reacts to Birmingham City relegation with classy gesture

Former Birmingham City boss John Eustace celebrates keeping Blackburn Rovers in the Championship.
Former Birmingham City boss John Eustace celebrates keeping Blackburn Rovers in the Championship. -Credit:Ryan Browne

John Eustace celebrated keeping Blackburn Rovers in the Championship by taking time out to mention the club where he began the season - relegated Birmingham City.

But there was no gloating from the man sacked as Blues boss when they were in the top six back in October.

Eustace was shown the door at St Andrew’s by the club’s new owners to make way for Wayne Rooney, prompting an alarming slump that ended when the former England captain was sacked 15 games later.

But after seeing his current club ensure their Championship status by beating champions Leicester City 2-0, Eustace insisted he had no idea what the results were elsewhere - even at St Andrew’s - until after the match at the King Power Stadium.

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He explained: “I didn't have a clue what the scores were, I wasn't interested in anyone else. I only cared that we were doing the right things and we did. I was very confident we'd come here and be competitive and we have.”

He then turned his attention to Blues, who went down despite beating Norwich City 1-0 on the final day.

He added: “My job was to come in and keep Blackburn up. I didn’t want Birmingham to go down, they are a club close to my heart and I have a lot of friends there. But my focus was here.

“It’d been a fantastic start to the season to leave Birmingham in sixth position. Now to keep Blackburn up has been a group effort. We’ve never doubted ourselves.”

Gary Rowett was in the dugout at St Andrew’s on the final day, Blues sixth man in charge this season after Eustace, Rooney, Steve Spooner, the ill Tony Mowbray and his assistant, Mark Venus. He believes consistency in performance has been a problem for the team.

“Sometimes it’s easier on a last day when you’ve got to do it,” said Rowett. “It’s more difficult if you’ve got to do it on a Wednesday night in November somewhere when the weather’s not so nice when it doesn’t feel like it matters so much. That’s probably why the team is in the position it’s in.”

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