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Birmingham City board back beleaguered Zola

Zola has won just two of 22 matches since replacing Gary Rowett as manager. Credit: PA

Birmingham City have denied their are planning to replace under-pressure boss Gianfranco Zola.

Zola has lost 13 of his 22 games - winning just twice - since replacing Gary Rowett in December and Birmingham have slumped from seventh to 18th, six points above the bottom three.

Birmingham City would like to clarify the situation in regard to Gianfranco Zola after recent articles in the media over the weekend: the club has not lined up any manager to replace Gianfranco, who has the continual full support of the Blues Board of Directors.

Whilst we understand the frustrations caused by the run of results, the way the supporters got behind Gianfranco and the team on Saturday at St. Andrew's was typical of Blues fans' passion, care for the club and desire for success, which is what we all share and much appreciate.

The board and all departments at the club are keeping united and standing alongside Gianfranco, his staff and the players, to try and play the kind of football every Blues supporter deserves to watch.

– Birmingham City statement

Arsenal youngster heads to Birmingham on loan

Polish youngster Krystian Bielik has joined Birmingham City on loan from Arsenal for the remainder of the season.

Bielik has made two senior appearances for the Gunners since arriving from Legia Warsaw.

He has all the qualities and ingredients to be a top-level centre-back.

The one thing he is missing is the experience in this position because he came to us as a central midfielder, but I converted him because I felt he can play the type of football we want to play as a centre-back.

– Arsene Wenger

Watford striker moves to Championship on loan

Birmingham City have brought in striker Jerome Sinclair on loan for the rest of the campaign from Watford.

Sinclair, who left Liverpool last summer, has struggled to cement his place in the team at Vicarage Road.


Birmingham make £4m bid for Palace winger

Birmingham have lodged a £4million bid for Crystal Palace winger Bakary Sako.

Blues boss Gianfranco Zola is ready to make Sako the club's most expensive signing in seven years, Press Association Sport understands.

Bakary Sako is not a regular at Palace. Credit: PA

The Italian - appointed by new owners Trillion Trophy Asia - has lost three and drawn one of his four games in charge at St Andrew's following Monday's 3-1 home defeat to Brentford.

Zola, who replaced Gary Rowett last month, has £9million left to spend in January, having already used £1million to turn Lukas Jutkiewicz's loan from Burnley into a permanent switch.

Mali international Sako has played just four times for the Eagles this season and has not started in the Premier League.

Championship report: Birmingham 1-1 Aston Villa

Birmingham's David Davis (left) celebrates his equalising goal. Credit: PA

David Davis clinched a deserved point for Birmingham as Aston Villa escaped with a 1-1 derby draw.

The midfielder fired in a second-half equaliser after Gary Gardner had given Villa the lead with his first goal for the club.

Clayton Donaldson missed two golden chances in each half as Birmingham dominated for long spells but let Villa off the hook.

Jacques Maghoma wasted a fine opening and Ryan Shotton spurned a late chance to win it as former Blues boss Steve Bruce took a point on his St Andrew's return.

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