Skipper Stephen Carr believes Birmingham face a big test to stay in the top flight next term and that boss Alex McLeish must be given cash to splash this summer.
The ninth-placed Blues have been the surprise package in the top flight this term, going on a 12-match unbeaten league run to easily stay up.
But Carr believes it will be much harder next term as opponents now know what to expect and will adapt their tactics accordingly.
The right-back told the Birmingham Mail: "No-one has ever got carried away with this season.
"The players don't really need the manager to tell them, because we know.
"Next season is the real test. People will know us a bit more as a team and adapt more to how we play. So it will be a big test. The second season always is.
"But we've got a good balance about us, and no-one is thinking about not wanting to push on and put the work in again."
Carr believes the squad needs to be expanded with more quality players in the summer.
He added: "The manager has to be helped. He needs some money.
"There are a few players' [contracts] up as well. As a squad we would be smaller, so the squad has to be added to and quality has to be added to take it up to another level.
"Hopefully, he will be backed after what he has done this first year."