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By ESPN Staff

Birmingham vow to hold on to No.2 Black

Birmingham chairman David Gold insists he 'will do everything possible' to stop assistant manager Eric Black following Steve Bruce to Wigan.

Bruce is set to be unveiled as Wigan's new manager later today and he wants Black to eventually join him at the JJB Stadium.

But the former Coventry boss will be in charge of Birmingham's home game with Portsmouth on Saturday and Gold is keen to make sure he stays on a permanent basis.

Gold revealed: 'I believe Eric Black is special. I really admire him. His multi-lingual skills are so important in communicating with our foreign players and he has a great relationship with the squad.

'I will be doing everything to keep him at Birmingham. I want him to stay and will be fighting to stop him going to Wigan.

'We want to keep the best people at Birmingham - and Eric is a person who falls into that category. He will be in charge on Saturday and we wish him well.'

Blues need Black to stay to maintain continuity after Bruce's decision to end an eight-year association with the club - two as a player and six as manager.

David Sullivan has indicated the club will be looking for a high-profile manager but Martin Jol has already ruled out any possibility of moving to St Andrews after speaking with City's co-owner.

And reports that former Fulham boss Chris Coleman could be taking over at Blues are wide of the mark.

Gold said: 'We are working hard to resolve all of the issues. Steve Bruce leaving is an issue in itself. We won't leave any stone unturned to try to sort things out satisfactorily.'

Scotland manager Alex McLeish and former Wigan boss Paul Jewell have joined Jol in making it known that they are not interested in the post.

Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp is also believed to have been considered a possible candidate but there is no chance of him walking out on the south coast club for a second time.

Blues, who have received £3million compensation from Wigan for allowing Bruce to leave, can tempt any prospective candidates with a lucrative salary.

But any big-name appointment would also want major transfer funds to bolster the fight against relegation in the second half of the campaign.