No doubt the last few years have been a difficult period for Birmingham City after we thought we were moving in the right direction with Rowett. I still can’t get over that decision.
However, the turn of the year has provided a huge upturn in form, with the Blues now on a run of just one defeat in their past six Championship matches- and holding Premier League Huddersfield Town to a 1-1 draw in the FA Cup fourth round.
That has raised optimism at St. Andrews, with Cotterill`s side slowly starting to show form after he replaced Harry Redknapp in charge of the club in October. It`s been a slow transition but the positive signs are starting to emerge from the side.
Sat six points above the relegation zone, with a crucial derby against the Vile this weekend, there`s still plenty of work for Birmingham to do but there`s reasons to be optimistic about the future under Steve Cotterill.
Since being relegated from the Premier League in 2011, Birmingham have struggled to find consistency and have finished above tenth just once since, in 2012, where they lost in the play-offs. In the years since, it`s been mid-table finishes or hovering just above the relegation zone.
This season is likely to be the same, with Birmingham fighting over fallen giants to avoid a drop to the third tier of English football, where the Blues haven`t been for over two decades, but in the long-term Cotterill certainly stands as a candidate to bring Premier League football back to St. Andrews.
The transition shown since the start of the year has proven that, with Cotterill getting the best out of Southampton loanee Sam Gallagher, who`s scored four goals in the past six matches, and also finally getting something out of summer signing Jota- who scored twice in the recent 3-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday.
Now showing some signs of consistency, Birmingham have something to build upon for the 16 games that remain in the Championship and the campaign that follows next year, where fans will hope their side is a lot more competitive.
Birmingham have shown they have what it takes to compete in recent matches and Cotterill`s impact on the side has proven to be significant, which is great news for the Birmingham side and the city as a whole- as it needs Premier League football.
Now, without taking anything for granted, we need to see the team consolidate, move away from the drop zone and that can start by smashing Villa on Sunday.