New Birmingham City manager Gianfranco Zola has insisted that he did not stab Gary Rowett in the back.

Birmingham surprisingly decided to dispense with the services of popular manager Rowett this week and went on to immediately appoint Zola as his replacement.

It is well established that Zola had been approached even while Rowett was in charge of Birmingham but the Italian legend has now gone on to deny claims that he stabbed his predecessor in the back by agreeing to join the Championship side.

He said: “You shouldn’t be asking me that question.

“I’m a manager who didn’t have a position and I’ve been asked to come here. I know Gary is well considered here and he deserves to be.

“I feel for him and he probably didn’t deserve it. I’ve been sacked and I know what it feels like, but I didn’t blame the man who was coming in instead of me. It’s not down to me.”