Birmingham City boss Wayne Rooney publicly slammed his players for their lack of fitness before granting them six days off during the international break, sources have told Football Insider.
The surprise move has raised eyebrows behind the scenes at St Andrew’s given the poor start Rooney has had in his early weeks at the club.
Birmingham claim that players do have individual programmes in place to keep players up to speed during the two-week break from Championship football.
But the contradictory move has concerned staff at the club given how the team has struggled during Rooney’s first five matches in charge.
Man United’s all-time top goalscorer, who took over shortly after quitting as manager of MLS club DC United, is yet to claim his first win in the Championship after five games.
The Blues capped off his first run before the break with a 3-1 loss to Sunderland.
The only point Rooney has managed was a 2-2 draw to second-place Ipswich Town, but two late goals from the Tractor Boys caused more frustration to the fanbase, who have yet to be convinced by the appointment of the Premier League club.
Supporters were concerned when the club opted to sack John Eustace, who left the club in sixth place in the table after six wins from their opening 12 games.
Rooney’s side now languishes in 18th place and just eight points outside the relegation zone, causing great discontent among the fans.
The new boss will seek his first win as the Blues face bottom-of-the-table Sheffield Wednesday at St Andrew’s after the international break on Saturday (25 November).
In other news, Revealed: Everton expect 10-point deduction to be ‘significantly reduced’ after appeal.