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Gary Rowett back at Birmingham City as interim manager after Tony Mowbray extends medical leave

Former Birmingham manager Gary Rowett has returned to the club as interim boss after Tony Mowbray was granted extended medical leave.

Ex-Sunderland boss Mowbray succeeded Wayne Rooney at St Andrews in January, but a month later he temporarily stepped down from his role to undergo medical treatment, with a view to returning in approximately six to eight weeks.

But Mowbray will now be absent until the start of pre-season, paving the way for Rowett to return to the club where he had a two-year spell in charge between 2014 and 2016.

Rowett left his new club’s Championship relegation rivals Millwall in October and takes over a Blues side only outside the bottom three on goal difference with eight games remaining.

Mowbray played a role in Rowett’s appointment.

Birmingham co-owner and chairman of the board Tom Wagner said in a statement on the club website: “Based on Tony’s decision to take some additional time away, we agreed it is in the club’s best interests to appoint Gary Rowett to lead the team forward from the touchline for the final eight games of the season.

“Gary is an experienced leader and has our full support.”

Assistant Mark Venus will also temporarily leave the club and return with Mowbray, while first-team coaches Ashley Cole and Peter Shuttleworth as well as goalkeeper coach Maik Taylor will remain in their positions.

Rowett will be on the touchline for Birmingham’s clash against fellow strugglers QPR next week.

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