McLeish - Cam will end drought

Blues boss believes hard-working striker will soon score

Jerome: Goal drought

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Birmingham boss Alex McLeish has backed Cameron Jerome to soon end his goal drought.

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The striker was the club's top scorer last season with 11 goals but has only notched three times this term and has failed to find the net in the last five matches.

However, McLeish has hailed the striker's unselfish running and work rate and believes the goals will come once more.

The Birmingham boss, whose side visit second-from-bottom Wolves on Sunday, said: "We've been quite unlucky chance-wise but guys like Jerome have to keep on believing.

"Cameron's form has been tremendous and it is surely going to happen for him (in front of goal).

"Everyone knows about the tremendous work-rate he puts in game after game.

"He got 11 goals last season and he is getting some chances now and I thought he has been unlucky.

Calm

"There was one situation in the recent game with Aston Villa where Cameron was as calm as I've seen him in front of goal.

"You can see the education is getting through and he is learning the game."

Birmingham are unbeaten in their last five league and cup matches and McLeish is delighted with the mental strength of his side.

He said: "The one thing you can't deny is their spirit. Their mental toughness is getting stronger and stronger.

"I think they've taken it into their heads about their character, spirit and resilience.

"They know they've got those traits and I think it is right we should keep praising those.

"There is a lot of honesty in the dressing room. They don't want to let their team-mates down."

Gardner progress

McLeish also believes former Aston Villa midfielder Craig Gardner is reaping the benefits of regular first-team football as he approaches the end of his first 12 months at St Andrew's.

Gardner netted the equaliser against Tottenham last weekend and is the club's leading scorer with five goals this season.

The Birmingham boss added: "Craig is just a boy that's been waiting for a chance.

"He never quite got into the Villa team regularly and played in different positions. He was a jack of all trades.

"He's come in for us first in a wide position and now in a central area, and he's done great.

"But there's marvellous competition within the squad.

"Lee Bowyer has come back into great form as well.

"It's very difficult for me to pick a first XI in certain positions and that's what every manager wants."