Chelsea legend Zola quits Birmingham after two wins in 24 games

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The Italian, who has failed to transfer his playing ability into the coaching game, has resigned as manager of the Championship strugglers

Gianfranco Zola has stepped down as manager of Birmingham City, the club have announced.

The former Chelsea star resigned in the wake on Monday's 2-0 Championship defeat at home to Burton Albion – a result that leaves Birmingham only three points above the relegation zone with three games left.

It compounded a dismal four months in charge for Zola, during which he won only two out of 24 games and took the club from seventh to 20th in the table.

Brighton promoted to Premier League

Birmingham confirmed the news via their official Twitter account.

Zola insisted only last week that the team was progressing, after the board released a statement offering their support of the under-fire 50-year-old.

"I have no doubt there are signs of progress," said Zola, who replaced Gary Rowett at St Andrew's in December. "As a coach I have to look at the results and the work I am doing also. I am one hundred per cent sure that by this work, we will get the results.

"And if I am wrong I will pay the consequences, no doubt about that."

Zola has endured a mixed coaching career to date, with spells at West Ham, Watford, Cagliari, Al-Arabi and Birmingham delivering little tangible reward.

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