On Air Now
Early Breakfast with James Stewart 4am - 6:30am
28 March 2019, 16:49
Birmingham manager Garry Monk is confident his side will not get drawn into relegation trouble despite their nine-point deduction.
Blues were hit with the sanction by the EFL last week for breaching the league's profitability and sustainability regulations.
The penalty saw the club drop from 13th in the Sky Bet Championship to 18th, leaving them only five points above the relegation zone.
But despite losing their last four games, Monk believes Blues have what it takes to stay clear of the drop zone.
"We are back in a serious situation, it is not going to be easy," the former Swansea and Leeds manager said at his pre-match press conference, reported via the club's Twitter account.
"But we are confident that we can show our fighting spirit and along with my staff and the fans we will jump this hurdle.
"Our group is mentally strong and has always been determined to progress.
"When I came here in March our target was to achieve avoiding relegation and we achieved it, then it was about progression, to achieve safety in a quicker time this year.
"We had already done that, we had already achieved safety and were looking up the table before the penalty, but we've got to do it again now and I am more than confident that we will do that."
Blues lost £37.5million in the 12 months to the end of June 2018, more than double the previous year's deficit.
The main cause of their deteriorating balance sheet was an increase in the wage bill from just over £22million in 2016/17 to nearly £38million the following year as former managers Gianfranco Zola and Harry Redknapp were lavishly backed in the transfer market.
As a result, Birmingham have net liabilities of £55million and owe parent company Birmingham Sports Holdings more than £73million, a sum that will grow over the next 18 months as the directors' report reveals a further £39million will be needed over that period to keep the club afloat.
Monk says the club now know exactly what they need to do going forward to avoid a repeat.
"I didn't speculate about anything, my job is to deal with what's in front of me, and to focus on the football and to be determined to do my best for this club," he added.
"Clarity is the most important thing, it is really important to have had that clarity in order to move forward.
"We are not out of the woods, we have to abide by a certain plan going forward so that we do not get into the same position in the future.
"Now that the clarity has come we know what we have to do and we can move forward."