Birmingham boss issues 'second season syndrome' warning

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Birmingham manager Alex McLeish has challenged his players to prove they are not one-season wonders.

McLeish has performed a minor miracle after spending only £10million on new signings last summer but steering Blues into the top half of the Barclays Premier League.

But the former Scotland boss is aware of examples of sides impressing during their first season in the top flight and then struggling the second time around to survive.

Reading and now Hull are prime examples of that happening in recent seasons. McLeish told Press Association Sport: "The progress we have made this season has exceeded my expectations but can we do it again next season? That's the challenge for us."

He added: "People talk about 'second season syndrome' and there have been clubs who have suffered from that before.

"But I believe I have got the character in the dressing room to maintain the Premier League status we have achieved this season so well.

"We want to become established in the Premier League."

McLeish will look to add quality players during the summer with the backing of new owner Carson Yeung.

But he is also aware of the dangers of upsetting the dressing room by bringing in players on big salaries.

He said: "We don't want to be paying huge, huge wages that upset the dressing room and means I will get everyone chapping (banging) on my door.

"But at some stage we are going to have to put a hike on the wages if we are going to bring in more quality to the club and try and improve our standing as it is at the moment."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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