John Eustace: Blackburn boss plays down trip to former side Birmingham for first game in charge

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John Eustace applauds the Blackburn supporters on Saturday
John Eustace watched most of Blackburn’s win against Stoke City from the stands but did finish the match on the touchline

Blackburn Rovers manager John Eustace has played down facing his former side Birmingham in his first game in charge.

Eustace’s spell with Blues was cut short by their new ownership’s decision to appoint Wayne Rooney, whose ill-fated spell lasted just 15 matches.

Former Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray took over from Rooney, with Eustace taking charge at Ewood Park following Jon Dahl Tomasson’s departure last week.

“It’s another game and opportunity for us to pick three points up,” he said.

Asked whether he felt he could gain an advantage because of his knowledge of the Birmingham team, Eustace told BBC Radio Lancashire: “I think everyone knows about everyone’s teams now at this stage of the season.

“The analysts here are very good. They know all the ins and outs of the team and I’ve listened to what they’ve got to say and they’re spot on.

“It’s just important that we focus on ourselves and try to do the best we can.”

Eustace sat in the stands for their morale-boosting 3-1 victory against Stoke on Saturday, with first-team coaches Damien Johnson and David Lowe in charge, but did finish the match on the touchline.

Prior to his departure from Birmingham, he had turned a Blues side threatened by relegation into one challenging at the top end of the Championship.

Blues were sixth when Eustace was sacked, similar to Blackburn’s early-season form which had seen them competing with the top six before an eight-game winless run leading up to former boss Tomasson’s exit.

“It was important that when I came back in [to football] that it was with the right club for me. Four months out isn’t that long but it gave me time to rest and refocus and look at a few different things that I wanted to do.

“I’ve been on lots of visits to different training grounds around the country so it’s been a good four months, but I couldn’t wait to get back in.”

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