Kevin Phillips has warned Birmingham they run the risk of relegation and repeating his former club Sunderland unless they splash the cash on new players this summer.
Phillips can expect a warm welcome when he returns to the Stadium Of Light for tomorrow's Barclays Premier League clash after twice helping the Black Cats to seventh-place finishes in the top flight.
But Phillips feels a lack of investment then cost Sunderland and they were relegated two years later.
He hopes Birmingham will take advantage of a successful first season back in the top-flight and bring in more quality signings.
Phillips said: 'I felt the second season we finished seventh at Sunderland, we needed to go out and spend £10-15 million on three or four players.
'I believe if that had happened, it would have made us a consistent Premier League team for a long time.
'But it never happened and the next year we struggled - and the season after we got relegated. I just hope Birmingham don't go down that same route.
'I think this club will attract top players with the manager we have got and owners who seem ambitious.
'I don't think we need to being six or seven players, just three or four. Then you are looking at a quality Birmingham side who can stay in the Premier League for a long time.'
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