Two back to back wins for Birmingham City has certainly raised the bar for a top six spot, with only fourteen games played.
Consistency at home has been the key element albeit by tight margins. Away form could be improved upon without any doubt and this is where the January transfer window will be so important. Home games and our crowd support is getting us nicely placed with consistent results but away results will ultimately decide on whether we are genuine play-off contenders.
This is why the games leading up to the window will be closely scrutinised by our owners as to their intentions of who to buy or loan for the remainder of the season. Ironically this season is turning out to be one of the best starts we have endured for many years, with a Head Coach not many of us had much faith in, including myself.
Pep Clotet has done well and we dearly want this to continue as he has brought a calmness to a troubled Club that needed a feel good factor. Cardiff away and Fulham at home will again be games that we can really judge our progress so far on, especially as favourable results will rocket us into dreamland. This again is where our owners have to decide the next step.
Three seasons ago when we were in a similar position the decision was taken to sack the manager and go for more ‘cultured football’, hopefully this time around it will be to strengthen in areas of play that is needed. We all know those positions inside out.
What, in my opinion, is critical for our owners to understand, is that this season is different from recent campaigns. No single club is walking away with top spot in terms of footballing supremacy. West Brom look good at times, like Leeds did early games, and now Preston have jumped in with eye catching results – all very reassuring now for a club such as ours.
Steady as we go many supporters tell me and let’s not get too carried away etc but the way it is going in this league then I feel we are entitled to get a little above ourselves. Players like Crowley, Bellingham, Sunjic and Jutkiewicz would grace any of the Championship teams and they play for Blues.
Add Villalba, Colin, Pedersen and the central defensive duo of Roberts and Dean and we look more than capable of an assault into that top six. The missing ingredient, of course, is urgent help and cover for Jutkiewicz. This is where our hierarchy needs to step in during the window. We need to be tapping on it by January 1st.