Throughout last season there were signs that the team had spirit, quality and the odd touch of class, Spurs, Blackpool and Stoke away, Birmingham and West Ham at home. It was clear that despite the league situation, we had what it took to achieve the main goal of staying up. These good performances were of course interspersed with lapses, errors and results that would have been pointed out as the obvious signs we were not good enough had we failed to survive. Reading the mixed signs and predicting the right outcome is difficult to say the least, with only Roberto and a few stalwarts getting it right last season before the 20/20 hindsight was available.
As I`m sure everyone did, I reviewed the fixture list. I decided that the first 2 sets of 3 games would give a guide to shaping our season. Firstly 3 games against relegation fodder, then 3 games against what should be mid to top end teams, both useful guides to our final position. We`ve started reasonably well, and begun to set a platform for the season which should see us clear of the bottom 3. We`re up to 5 points ahead of some relegation rivals already, 7 games unbeaten, 2 points and 11 goal difference better off. Crowds are up, confidence is up, and Roberto is looking up (the table). If we do well in the next 3 games, then the target of top half will be very achievable.
For those of you that are scared we might slump, Roberto was asked on MOTD2 about West Brom, and Blackburn, and how he would pick his team up after 3 defeats, I was shouting at the telly, because we haven`t suffered that form in 2 years, which of course passed the national pundits by.
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