Championship: Harry Redknapp has cheeky dig at Gabby Agbonlahor after striker scores winner against Birmingham

Freddie Young

New Birmingham City boss Harry Redknapp has had a cheeky dig at Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor after the striker scored the winning goal against the Blues, reports the Daily Mail.

Redknapp's first game in charge was against Villa on Sunday after he was appointed earlier in the week. Birmingham lost 1-0 after Agbonlahor scored in the 68th minute, his first goal in 14 months.

Aston Villa v Birmingham City - Sky Bet Championship

Redknapp said: "Gabby? He's done well today, he's had ten minutes, that'll keep him happy for another year, won't it. Fantastic. 

We can't sit here and say Villa were good, can we? Be honest. 

"We've seen fantastic teams here over the years and Steve has a lot of work to do if that's the best they can do. 

We didn't deserve to lose the game."

"I don't think our keeper got his gloves dirty. I'm very encouraged. When they've won two out of 24 and you come in, it scares you to death. But we've worked hard this week on the training ground. I thought they carried it out to a T, just didn't get the break when we needed it."

Aston Villa v Birmingham City - Sky Bet Championship

Agbonlahor's boss, Steve Bruce, meanwhile challenged the 30-year-old to earn a new contract at Villa Park by scoring regularly. It was only his second goal in two years, and Bruce wants to see more so that Agbonlahor isn't released on a free when his contract expires. The three-time England international has been at Villa since he was 12.

Bruce said that: "He's had his critics but I can only go off what I've seen in the five months I've had. He was impeccable for two months, lost 10 kilos, then, unfortunately, got a horrible hamstring injury. 

When we do break up, it's important he gets himself in some nick, and pre-season is huge for him.

Fulham v Aston Villa - Sky Bet Championship

"He's now got to win a contract for next year, which will be the first time in a long time. And when you get to 30, winning a contract is like winning the lottery. 

Certainly, a fit Gabby Agbonlahor has at least at this level has got something to offer, I'm convinced of that."

Bruce said that sending Agbonlahor on on the hour mark was an obvious choice: "

Tactical genius, wasn't it? You can talk about this, that and the other but supporters want to see exactly what he did, in a derby match, where it means something.

Birmingham City v Aston Villa - Sky Bet Championship

"He's got a big summer ahead of him now, he can't just prepare all winter for Birmingham. But certainly, his record is incredible. It was a scrappy goal, to say the least, but what a great finish, he turned, got it out of his feet and put it into the top bin."

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