Wayne Rooney comments ‘stung’ Birmingham stars as players’ reaction to axing emerges | Football | Sport

Birmingham City players were reportedly left ‘stung’ by comments made by Wayne Rooney during his time as manager at the club. The ex-Manchester United hero was sacked after just 15 matches in charge of the Championship side following his controversial appointment.

Rooney was appointed Blues boss in October after John Eustace was sacked, despite leading the club to sixth in the table and giving them a fighting chance of promotion to the Premier League. The change of face in the dugout sparked a mixed reaction, with the majority of supporters content with how the club were progressing under Eustace.

The decision proved to be catastrophic, with Birmingham now sitting in 20th place in the Championship after tasting defeat in nine of their last 15 matches. Supporters quickly lost faith in Rooney, and it has reportedly emerged that some players were also unhappy with the 38-year-old.

According to The Athletic, Birmingham stars were ‘surprised’ by the sacking of their manager, though there is a suggestion of ‘some relief’ that the club parted ways with the former DC United boss after his torrid spell.

Rooney ‘wasn’t unpopular’ with his squad, though his public criticism of the team did raise some eyebrows. A few players were left ‘stung’ by one team talk in particular where the personal pride of the squad was questioned, as well as their ability and mental strength.

Following his sacking, Rooney released a statement where he thanked the higher powers at Birmingham City for the opportunity to manage in the EFL but questioned why he was not offered more time to build a squad in the January transfer window that was suited to his demands and playstyle.

He wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: “I would like to thank Tom Wagner and Tom Brady and Garry Cook for the opportunity to manage Birmingham City and the support they all gave me during my short period with the club.

“However, time is the most precious commodity a manager requires and I do not believe 13 weeks was sufficient to oversee the changes that were needed. Personally, it will take me some time to get over this setback. I have been involved in professional football, as either a player or manager, since I was 16. Now, I plan to take some time with my family as I prepare for the next opportunity in my journey as a manager.”

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