FORMER Middlesbrough and Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray will temporarily step down from his role as manager of Birmingham City to undergo medical treatment.

Mowbray will be absent from the touchline for approximately six to eight weeks, with assistant manager Mark Venus taking charge of first-team affairs.

The 60-year-old said: “Following my recent LMA Health Assessment I have received a medical diagnosis that will require me to receive treatment.

“Undergoing treatment will necessitate that I temporarily step away from the technical area as manager of Birmingham City Football Club.

“Until I return, my assistant manager, Mark Venus, will take temporary charge of the team, supported by coaches Ashley Cole, Pete Shuttleworth and Maik Taylor. I will continue to provide advice and counsel while undergoing treatment.

“The club has been incredibly supportive of me and my family and we are very grateful. I know that everyone will be respectful of our privacy at this time.”

Birmingham have won four, lost three and drawn one of their eight games in all competitions since Mowbray was appointed in January following the departure of Wayne Rooney.

His last game in charge resulted in a 2-1 win over his former club, Sunderland, at the weekend.

Sunderland controversially parted company with Mowbray in December, and replaced the Teessider with Michael Beale.

Birmingham chief executive officer Garry Cook, said: “Our thoughts are with Tony, his wife Amber, and family.

“We wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming Tony back to the club to continue the excellent work that he has started.”