Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish has admitted that his squad exceeded even his own expectations by finishing ninth in the Premier League this season.
The Blues won only once in their final ten games of the campaign, but McLeish is more than happy with the overall showing.
He told the Birmingham Mail:"What we have done this season and it's no way a slight to my players, is we have punched above our weight, no doubt about that.
"Did I expect my players to do well? Yes. The players I have got in the dressing room, I did. I expected them to keep us clear of relegation.
"But they have exceeded even those expectations from me.
"I've been a manager for a few years now and if I've adopted a kind of cautious approach and I've not been shouting from the rooftops, it's because I know that football can slap you in the face.
"But I'm saying now it's been an outstanding and extraordinary season for the players, but I did expect that squad, that group of players – injuries permitting – to be in the Premier League next season."