Frank Clark had been appointed manager during the previous season, but was replaced by popular former Blue Joe Royle in February 1998.
1997-98 was expected to see an end to the troubles and misery of the previous seasons. It was anticipated Frank Clark would develop a side capable of seeking promotion. The Blues had struggled to find form under each of the managers appointed since the dismissal of Brian Horton in 1995 and Chairman Francis Lee was facing much criticism. Everyone recognised that the 1997-8 season had to see improvement.
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