Tony Mowbray - what illness does Birmingham City manager have and who will replace him?

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Veteran Birmingham City manager, Tony Mowbray, broke the news he would be temporarily stepping down due to illness to his squad on Monday morning

Championship football club Birmingham City have been rocked by news that newly appointed manager Tony Mowbray will temporarily step down from his role as he receives treatment for a serious illness.

The 60-year-old was only appointed by the club on January 8 following the departure of Wayne Rooney. The Manchester United legend lasted less than three months at St Andrew's having taken over from John Eustace in October.

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The Blues were in the play-off places when sacking Eustace, citing a 'misalignment with leadership', and have since plummeted down the table. Birmingham City sit in 15th place, just six points above the relegation zone.

Birmingham City handed another manager crisis

The side has been resurgent since Mowbray's opponent, with the veteran taking the job following his sacking from Sunderland in December. The Saltburn-born manager had spent 15 years in the position on Wearside.

Mowbray oversaw a 2-1 victory against former side Sunderland on Saturday and a 1-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers in midweek but the team will now be without their boss for the run-in this season.

Mowbray's prognosis is unknown but the club has confirmed the 60-year-old will be out of action for six to eight weeks, although it seems unlikely the veteran will return to the dugout before the end of the season on May 4.

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What illness does Tony Mowbray have?

Mowbray said: “Following my recent LMA Health Assessment I have received a medical diagnosis that will require me to receive treatment. Undergoing treatment will necessitate that I temporarily step away from the Technical Area as Manager of Birmingham City Football Club. Until I return, my Assistant Manager, Mark Venus, will take temporary charge of the team, supported by coaches Ashley Cole, Pete Shuttleworth and Maik Taylor.

"I will continue to provide advice and counsel while undergoing treatment. The Club has been incredibly supportive of me and my family and we are very grateful. I know that everyone will be respectful of our privacy at this time.”

Birmingham City Chief Executive Officer, Garry Cook, said: “Our thoughts are with Tony, his wife Amber, and family. We wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming Tony back to the Club to continue the excellent work that he has started. In the meantime, Mark Venus, Ashley Cole, Pete Shuttleworth and Maik Taylor, will be given all the support they need to lead the Club forward.”

Tony Mowbray will temporarily step down from his role at Birmingham City. (Image: Getty Images)Tony Mowbray will temporarily step down from his role at Birmingham City. (Image: Getty Images)
Tony Mowbray will temporarily step down from his role at Birmingham City. (Image: Getty Images) | Getty Images

Will there be a new Birmingham City manager?

Assistant manager Mark Venus is set to step up to the plate in Mowbray's absence but there are murmurs that an interim boss could come in with such an important part of the season still to play. Former Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper and ex-Birmingham City midfielder Lee Carsley, who won the European Championship with the England under-21s, have both been touted as options.

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Cooper was sacked by Nottingham Forest in December and had been linked with Crystal Palace as a potential Roy Hodgson replacement. However, the Eagles now look to be on the verge of appointing Oliver Glasner.

Carsley is still working with the England under-21 squad but has history at Birmingham City, both as a player and a coach. He also spent a period as interim head coach at Brentford in 2015.

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