Jerome promises to learn from Hull's mistakes

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The Independent Football

Birmingham City's Cameron Jerome insists Hull's spectacular decline last season will remind Alex McLeish's side not to get carried away with their success.

Hull only narrowly avoided relegation last season despite being in the top six in December. Jerome's double against Blackburn at St Andrew's on Tuesday night lifted Birmingham into sixth spot with their fifth successive win, the first time they have achieved that in the top flight for 36 years.

But Jerome said: "Does the example of Hull drive the Birmingham players on? Definitely. That is the main thing that springs to our mind. Hull were flying this time last season. They beat Arsenal away, Tottenham away, gave Manchester United a run for their money at Old Trafford. They were third at one point before Christmas.

"Then, after the turn of the year, they hardly won a game. The manager will make sure we don't do that and the players we've got here will make sure. It's easy to see why it happened. You relax a bit because you've got a lot of points on the board and just ease up rather than doing the simple things that have got you where you are."

Jerome believes the squad's team spirit is a major factor in their success. He said: "We've been brilliant from back to front, working as a unit, and we've got that togetherness. We've got that mentality where we want to win and play for each other, and work our socks off for each other. It seems to be showing out on the pitch. We are playing good football. Everyone out there is confident. We are flying up the table sneakily. We are aware of how far we are progressing but we are not getting carried away. We are trying to keep our feet on the ground and doing the basic things that have got us there in the first place."

Former Rangers and Scotland manager McLeish has been used to success during his managerial career and has challenged his players to maintain their current standards. He said: "We won't have any talk of 'We've got a bit of leeway and we can take our foot off the gas'. You get a lot of players that can play for three games and then think 'Oh, they need a rest'.

"I've challenged these players here. Three games, that is not enough, go for four, go for five, how many can you go for? They've risen to that challenge."

Blackburn have now conceded 23 goals away from Ewood Park and manager Sam Allardyce knows his side have to stop making the kind of mistakes which Jerome took advantage of. He was also quick to praise the achievements of Birmingham.

Allardyce said: "Five wins on the trot is enough to write all the headlines and deservedly so. It is a major, major, major achievement in your first year back in the Premier League. It's an absolutely wonderful achievement. But you can't give away two silly goals like we did, especially the first one.

"With the mood they are in, and with the confidence they've got, it was always going to be difficult to come back from that."