Championship roundup: Pep Clotet leaves Birmingham after Swansea loss

Pep Clotet has left his position as Birmingham City head coach after the club’s 3-1 home defeat to Swansea City.

The 43-year-old was due to step down at the end of the season, but a 10th Championship match without a win brought his departure forward. Birmingham are 17th in the table, four points above the relegation zone with four matches to play. Clotet did not speak to the media after Wednesday’s defeat and his exit was announced just after 11pm BST.

A Birmingham statement read: “Pep Clotet has this evening left his position as head coach. He was due to step down at the season’s end but it was mutually agreed that he should relinquish the role immediately. The board would like to place on record its sincere thanks to Pep for his efforts during the past two years. We will be making no further comment at this time.”

Meanwhile, Swansea manager Steve Cooper has backed Rhian Brewster to remain the man for the big occasion after he started his side’s comeback at St Andrew’s. Brewster scored his eighth goal in 16 games since joining on loan from Liverpool in January.

Brewster’s strike cancelled out Lukas Jutkiewicz’s early opener before Ben Cabango and Jay Fulton put Swansea within a point and a place of the play-offs and arch-rivals Cardiff. “That’s where you want him – in the box and scoring goals and if he gets a chance in the box, you fancy him,” said Cooper about the England Under-21 forward.

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Slaven Bilic hailed his “magnificent” players after West Brom went two points clear of Leeds at the top of the table with a routine 2-0 win over Derby. The result, sealed by goals from Grady Diangana and Dara O’Shea, means they now need eight points from four games to secure promotion. “I’m so proud of them,” said Bilic. “Everyone did their job.”

Wigan’s hopes of survival were boosted by Kieffer Moore’s first-half winner in a 1-0 victory over QPR. They now sit eight points above the relegation zone – but face a 12-point penalty for entering administration if they finish above the bottom three.

A hugely controversial Britt Assombalonga strike set Neil Warnock’s Middlesbrough on the way to a vital 2-0 win at Millwall. Ashley Fletcher appeared to foul Jake Cooper in the build up, but referee Tim Robinson waved play on.

Goals from Famara Diedhiou and Jamie Paterson gave Bristol City a 2-1 win over Hull in their first match since sacking Lee Johnson. Preston stayed in the race with a 3-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday, with Scott Sinclair, Jayden Stockley and Brad Potts scoring.


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