Rooney booed and sworn at as miserable Birmingham start worsens

Robbie Savage discusses Wayne Rooney’s appointment at Birmingham City

New Birmingham City manager Wayne Rooney is remaining defiant despite his team slumping to back-to-back losses in his first two games in the job. A controversial appointment by the Blues’ ambitious US owners, he tasted defeat at the hands of Hull City in his second game back in England.

The former Manchester United hero certainly arrives in the country’s Second City boasting an enviable standing in the game but the sacking of previous boss John Eustace has divided the Birmingham supporters. The popular head coach was shown the door despite leading Brum to sixth place in the early weeks of the EFL Championship season.

The sceptical voices made their feelings known after Hull City, coached by Rooney’s friend and former assistant Liam Rosenior, inflicted a 2-0 loss in the former’s first home game at his new club. A chorus of boos and x-rated jeers accompanied the final whistle following the defeat, as the heat was turned up on the new head coach and the ownership. Footage emerged on social media showing fans telling Rooney to “f*** off back to America” as he trudged off the pitch.

The loss followed a drab performance away at Middlesbrough in Rooney’s first game in the hotseat, which saw them slump to a 1-0 loss in the last minute. The scoreline probably flattered Birmingham, who struggled to lay a glove on Michael Carrick’s men at the Riverside.

Despite the jeers at full-time, it is clear that Rooney still remains buoyant as he looks to keep morale up following another loss. “That’s part of football,” the former England captain said, as he took a philosophical outlook after his poor start at St Andrew’s.

“You need to win football games to change that. As I said yesterday, the former manager was very popular here and did a good job. It’s what [do] you want in terms of, do you want to be where the club has been for 10 years or do you want to move forward?

“Sometimes there’s a bedding in period while we are asking the players to do different things. I can deal with that. That’s part of the game. That’s part of my job. It’s not an issue for me.”

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What is postive for Rooney is that he does appear to retain the backing of his players even after the team’s downturn in fortunes following his appointment. On loan defender Cody Drameh was among those to admit that a period of transition is only to be expected after the change in management.

Speaking following their 2-0 loss, full-back Drameh told the BBC: “The gaffer has come in and wants to implement his ideas and we’re taking it in. It’s going to take a little getting used to, it will take some time but we will get there.

“We just have to roll with it. Whoever comes in and works with us, we have to do the best we can and try to keep improving. And, with the players we’ve got, we can do that.”

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