Season Preview: Birmingham City

How did you fare last season?
We got promoted which was the key thing but there were a lot of poor performances along the way and it was a bit of a hard slog. With the squad we had we should have been able to be more comfortable and play better football.

How do you expect you'll do this season?
17th is the target but it will be tough for us to achieve it. I think we may just about have enough to stay up.

What have you done in the transfer market this summer? Which of your new signings are you expecting most from?
We've spent a bit of money and brought in a range of players, young and experienced. Roger Johnson from Cardiff is a good signing but the player we are expecting the most from is Christian Benitez. He is our record signing and we'll be relying on him to get us the goals.

Where do you think you'll need to strengthen in the January transfer window?
It depends where we are and what injuries we've had but I expect we will be looking to bring in a midfielder with a bit of pace. Pace is something we are seriously lacking. Of course I hope we bring someone in before the current window closes.

Have you any promising youngsters breaking into the team?
Not really. Jordan Mutch and Krystian Pearce are good prospects but I expect them to spend most of the season out on loan. We have a good academy but I doubt many of them will see any first team action this year.

Have you got the right man in charge of the team? Will he still be there at the end of the season?
McLeish is doing OK but hasn't won everybody over due to certain tactical decisions and squad selections. He is also yet to work out a way for us to play away from home yet. Our away form since he took over is woeful. If we stay up he will stay. If not he will go.

Is the club being run well? Are you likely to be singing 'Sack the board' any time soon?
They sang that at the end of our relegation season but I think a lot of people are starting to appreciate them more now. They kept their promises about keeping our best players and they have supported the manager so far with his signings.

Which team do you most want to beat and why?
Aston Villa. Last time we played them they beat us 5-1. We owe them big time.

Who do you think will win the league?
Chelsea, but it will be tight.

Who do you think's going down?
Burnley, Portsmouth and Hull.

How do you think Hull City will fare this season?
Sorry but I think you will go down. Your form since last Christmas points to that and nothing you've done in the transfer market convinces me otherwise. I wouldn't be surprised if you finshed bottom.

Mike writes for Joys & Sorrows