ACE CAMERON'S IN THE BLUES CORNER; Leveller Fires Up Jerome in Chase for City Slot in Association with COMMERCIAL VEHICLES
Byline: BY JEREMY BUTLER
CAMERON JEROME is determined to land the knockout blow in Birmingham's very own fight club.
The hit man is one of five strikers going toe-to-toe for a starting slot in Alex McLeish's promotion-hunting side.
And for the second game running he was left out as Kevin Phillips and Garry O'- Connor were given the nod.
But with the pair struggling to get through Burnley's defences, Jerome was called up from the bench to secure a point with a sucker punch.
He was perfectly placed to net a 77th-minute leveller and break the hearts of a Clarets side that went a head with Chris McCann's first-half header.
Fellow sub James McFadden also had a hand in the goal as the duo stated their case for a starting berth against Crystal Palace tomorrow night.
And Jerome insisted his predatory effort was a signal that he wants to carry the fight to Brum's promotion rivals as the side's top choice front man for the rest of the season.
Jerome (below) admitted: "As strikers we are competing for places and trying to make it difficult for the manager.
"The situation is keeping us on our toes and makes sure we can't rest on our laurels and think we can play every game.
"We all know it is about getting a partnership together and the gaffer is trying to do that.
"But people are missing out on games and that shows the depth of quality we have.
"The spirit is good between us strikers though and there is no bitterness. Everyone is encouraging each other and we are working together to get results.
"But I know that when it comes down to it, you have to show you want the shirt more than others. That is how it is and that's what I plan to do."
Jerome's breakaway goal salvaged a point after City had fallen behind to McCann's 25th minute opener.
Midfielder McCann capitalised on the string of crosses launched from Burnley's right to head home at the far post.
He should have added a second while Joey Gudjonsson also fluffed a chance to put the game beyond Birmingham's reach.
And the Clarets paid the price for their wastefulness as McFadden and Jerome combined superbly to fire a break-away goal.
Phillips kick-started the electric-paced move by latching on to the ball after the Blues had cleared a corner. …