Birmingham City boss Alex McLeish believes there are goals aplenty in his side, despite the fact he has lost his top scorer Mikael Forssell and has only three recognised strikers currently in his squad.
No Blues player broke into double figures during the last campaign, in which City scored only 46 league goals in 39 games, with Forssell, who rejected a new contract offer to stay at St Andrew’s in favour of a move to Hannover 96 of the German Bundesliga, finishing top of the goalscoring charts with nine.
Cameron Jerome was next with seven in 33 games, while Scotland international Gary O’Connor hardly featured, scoring three goals in 26 games, although he only made eight starts during a disrupted campaign.
Winger Gary McSheffrey had finished the previous promotion-winning season as the club’s top scorer with 19 but scored only four in 34 appearances last season as he struggled to adapt to a more restrictive role on the left of midfield.
Blues’ £5?million January signing James McFadden scored four times in 12 appearances but his end of season was blighted by injury and Blues are expecting him to make a major impact in the Championship.
Following Forssell’s departure, a new striker is top of McLeish’s wish list to play alongside McFadden but he said he is still expecting Jerome, who expressed his disappointment at being dropped by McLeish towards the end of the season, and O’Connor to shine in the Championship.
“With regards to Cameron, I am not sure how many games he played in a row, but we felt we had to look for goals when it dried up a little bit for him,” McLeish said.
“Players get themselves into the team and they get themselves out of the team. They have to make a statement to the manager that says ‘you can’t leave me out.’
“Gary [O’Connor] got off to a difficult start and he has still got to show the Birmingham fans what he is capable of. They haven’t seen the best of him. He can finish with both feet, he is good in the air and, hopefully, another year on he has matured and can show that fully.
“The fact we have players who have scored goals in the Championship isn’t lost on me. McSheffrey set the Championship alight a couple of seasons ago and before that at Coventry. Cameron did the same at Cardiff. The challenge for them is to do it again.”