Sheffield Wednesday's 'mad' stand-off will not stop James Beattie joining, says Lee Bullen

Lee Bullen says he expects James Beattie to eventually join Sheffield Wednesday's coaching staff despite the “mad” stand-off with Birmingham City.
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The former England striker had been part of every previous coaching team Garry Monk had assembled, but despite attempts to reunite them at Hillsborough, he remains on gardening leave at Birmingham City.

Since Monk joined the Owls in September, he has been unable to add any coaches of his own, working with Bullen – his assistant and the caretaker manager at the start of the season, former York City, Scarborough and Leeds United reserve team manager Neil Thompson, and goalkeeping coach Nicky Weaver.

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ALLY: James Beattie has worked with Garry Monk at all his previous clubsALLY: James Beattie has worked with Garry Monk at all his previous clubs
ALLY: James Beattie has worked with Garry Monk at all his previous clubs | pa

Brought to St Andrew's by Monk, Beattie is no part of Birmingham manager Pep Clotet's plans, but arguments over money have left him unable to work. Former Swansea City, Leeds and Middlesbrough manager Monk was sacked by the Blues last summer.

"Garry Monk came in on his own when nine times out of ten a new manager will come in at least with his assistant,” said Bullen, who took the reins when Steve Bruce left to take over at Newcastle United during the 2019 pre-season. "At the time Garry had just left Birmingham. His assistant (Clotet) had taken over at Birmingham.

"His normal number three, right-hand man, is a lad called James Beattie who played in the Premier League. But James had been put on gardening leave and still had two years left of his contract.

"Wednesday weren't willing to pay compensation and Birmingham weren't willing to release the lad so he's been twiddling his thumbs.

"He's still getting paid by Birmingham, which is mad.

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"An opportunity could have come up to let the lad go, Birmingham would have saved money and the lad could have been involved.

"But at the moment it's Garry, myself, Neil Thompson and Nicky Weaver.

"We've got a good group of lads that work together, but I wouldn't be surprised if at some point James Beattie joined the group."

Beattie, whose playing career included two spells at Sheffield United and five England caps, started his management career with Accrington Stanley in 2012 but after two years at the Crown Ground he moved into the background, starting his work alongside former Southampton team-mate Monk in 2015.

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