Publication Date01 Aug 2021
As the BIRMINGHAM boss heads into his first full campaign with the club he inherited four months ago, he says that as much as it's about the quality of player, he believes no team will prosper without a slice of good fortune.

He said: "You look at this division and managers will give the same answer, year in and year out about promotion. You'll be looking at the teams who have just been relegated .

"Twelve months ago, Norwich and Watford came down. They went straight up. So this year." you've got to look at FULHAM - a very good side and a strong squad.

"I could say the same about West

Brom and Sheffield United too.

BOURNEMOUTH have a good group and Scott Parker has experience of getting out of the division with FULHAM.

"I reckon if you asked every CHAMPIONSHIP manager, they'd give the same list to you.

"But if you ask them what they want most of all this season, I can guarantee you that they would say they need luck with injuries. You need your main men.

" FULHAM, a couple of years ago, they relied on Aleksandar Mitrovic. He led the line, scored goals, tied up defenders - he was a handful and a big player for them.

"They lost him just towards the end of the season - they couldn't score.

"It didn't catch up with them but if it had happened sooner, it might have.

"If you lose one or two of the spine of your side then it becomes difficult." Bowyer himself made giant strides after taking over from Aitor Karanka in March.

With Brum sitting just three points above the drop zone with Rotherham having four games in hand, the club's former Carling Cup -winning midfielder guided them to safety in an unbeaten eight-match run.

Bowyer is, however, playing down expectations and said: "For the last three or four years this club has been in and around the relegation zone.

"You want to go from there, with a few loan players, into the top six?

"We need to be realistic. And I am a realist. But I think we will surprise teams for sure.

"We have brought in players with something to prove."

Top of that list is Tahith Chong, on loan from Manchester United. Juan

Castillo has arrived on a similar deal from Chelsea. Likewise, Ryan Woods from Stoke.

Bowyer added: "Chong has to do well in this division. If he does well here then United will look at him and say, 'We know you can do it here.'

"He returns a different player in their eyes but he's not been tested yet.

"Same with Juan with Chelsea. He's done it abroad but it's going to be tough for him - physically it's a completely...

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