Alex McLeish has likened managing Birmingham City to riding a rollercoaster after the biggest dip of his short reign resulted in their FA Cup exit.

McLeish has been perplexed by his team's hit-and-miss performances and results since he took over the St Andrew's stewardship from Steve Bruce last month.

Birmingham plunged to a new low when their FA Cup campaign ended with Saturday's humiliating 2-1 defeat at Huddersfield Town a team 42 places behind them in football's pyramid.

The manager insists the upset is further proof of his need to stabilise the club by bringing in reinforcements during this month's transfer window.

McLeish pulled no punches about his Premier League team's third round reverse against League One opposition and admit- ted the players should feel ashamed.

"At the end of the day we've shown we're capable, but it's just too much of a roller- coaster," said McLeish. "The players are much better than they showed against Huddersfield.

"It was just insipid. They've lost out in too many 50/50 challenges and we didn't play with enough conviction. I've spoken to them but the dressing room chat remains private and that's where it always must stay. I'm sure the players, every one of them, can look in the mirror and say 'We've let ourselves down and we've let the fans down.'

"We've got internationals in the team and we should be better than that. It's baffling to me. We had quality out there but it wasn't in evidence."

McLeish refused to shed any light on the transfer targets he is closing in on. He added: "It's not really for public consumption. I know where we need to strengthen but if I tell you then all my competitors will be looking at the same players.

"I've thrown some seeds down and I hope they develop into something of real quality."