Birmingham City: Gary Rowett likens Blues’ campaign to the gruelling challenge awaiting him in April
Rowett is running the London Marathon to raise money for Liam’s Smiles
As he prepares to run the London Marathon Gary Rowett hopes Birmingham City have the endurance to complete their own long-distance ordeal.
The Blues boss is in training to hammer the 26.2 mile course around the capital where he will raise money for Becky and Colin Doyle’s charity Liam’s Smiles.
And he is also trying to guide Birmingham through a tortuous 46-game campaign – including this weekend’s uphill task at third-placed Derby County.
“I reckon I would be on about mile 14 or 15 at the minute, it is a very good analogy,” Rowett said.
Blues manager Gary RowettBlues manager Gary Rowett
“It is a little bit of an endurance race the Championship in itself. Sometimes as we have seen it is that ability to endure and suffer.
“As a manager I would be anxious to get the next four or five miles out of the way and be looking for more quality in my running.
“I said it earlier in the season, what is going to define our season is not the good spells, it is the bad spells you have to try and limit
“It is those little periods you have to dig in and get through those moments and you then reap the rewards.
“I am hoping that I finish the race, And I am talking about the league!”
Rowett’s own date with destiny comes on Sunday, April 24, the day after Blues play away at Huddersfield in the Championship.
He and Birmingham City’s head of commercial Ian Dutton will join Becky, the wife of the former Blues goalkeeper, in support of the charity set up after their youngest son Liam contracted bacterial meningitis aged seven weeks.
The body raises money and awareness for the Meningitis Now charity.
By that stage Rowett hopes Birmingham will be well on their way to a play-off places, with only two games remaining in the season.
Rowett’s personal ambitions are a little more modest. “If I finish in the top six of the marathon I will be extremely pleased.
“I did the Loughborough Marathon a few years ago and got cramp in my hamstrings and limped over the line.
“Hopefully we make it to the finishing line this season in better shape.” The same can be said for Blues.