Gianfranco Zola plans talks with Birmingham owner

Gianfranco Zola said he would seek talks with Birmingham’s owners as his reign as manager hit a new low with a 4-1 home defeat to QPR.

Under Zola’s control, Birmingham have collected just six points from a possible 36 in the Sky Bet Championship and are slipping deeper and deeper into trouble.

The manager’s position is coming under pressure, and former Italy international Zola said: ‘Obviously I need to have a chat with the owners.

Birmingham City manager Gianfranco Zola looks dejected after the 4-1 thrashing by QPR

Birmingham City manager Gianfranco Zola looks dejected after the 4-1 thrashing by QPR

‘I really care about this club and I want to help them. As long as they trust me I am willing to try and do my best for everyone at St Andrew’s.

‘At the moment I am feeling very low but I take full responsibility. I am probably not giving enough and it is making me upset.

‘I have committed myself to the club and I am doing it with a lot of passion. We do not like where we are at the present time.’

Birmingham are owned by Hong Kong businessman Paul Suen Cho Hung.

Former Chelsea forward Zola has struggled since taking over from the sacked Gary Rowett. When he took over they were firmly in play-off contention and now they are struggling in 14th position.

Zola said: ‘The result was very painful and probably our worst performance. It was very frustrating and the situation is what football is all about.

QPR's players celebrate after thrashing Birmingham 4-1 at St Andrew's

QPR’s players celebrate after thrashing Birmingham 4-1 at St Andrew’s

‘They were superior and we couldn’t cope with the physicality of the opposition. On the other hand we couldn’t produce enough quality to cause them problems.

‘In the end we lost badly and I feel sorry for the players as it is hard for them at the present time.’

Zola was without such key players as Craig Gardner, David Davis and his leading goalscorer, Lukas Jutkiewicz, a training-ground casualty just hours before the game.

There never appeared any doubt about the outcome. QPR were well on top from the start, with Birmingham-born striker Matt Smith leading the rampage with the opening goal after 19 minutes – his first strike since September.

Smith led Birmingham’s defence a merry dance and delighted his manager, Ian Holloway, with his general performance.

Zola says he will speak to the Birmingham owners but wants to remain in charge

Zola says he will speak to the Birmingham owners but wants to remain in charge

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QPR grabbed a second goal, this time from Conor Washington, a minute into the second half as he netted a third in five games.

In a hectic finish, substitutes Idrissa Sylla and Yeni Ngbakoto added further goals before Emilio Nsue scored a consolation in the fourth minute of injury time.

Holloway said: ‘There is now a good feeling within the team after this win. I’m delighted with the performance.

‘Our second goal put us in a very good situation and what was also pleasing was that all my strikers scored against Birmingham.

‘Smith is a player I’ve always wanted. He is still catching up to speed. He is such a handful and he scored with a brilliant header.

‘The last thing you want is him towering above you and I am delighted for him as he is a wonderful kid.

‘After this win it shows where we are trying to get. The standard is so high and tough. Obviously I hope that we can build on this win as we had some bad results which knocked our confidence.’

Commenting on Zola’s predicament, Holloway said: ‘Birmingham have got to get on with it. The fans do not know what to think.

‘I want to do well for my owners as I haven’t been doing as well as I wanted. Hopefully we will be better after this win but we have another difficult game against Wigan on Tuesday.

‘I do not know where Zola will go after this game. It is up to him to work out.’ 


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