We all must have thought that this season was going to be difficult than last, but I wonder how many of thought we would be looking at the scenario we are now be facing.
Reproducing a similar feat as last season is out of the question; I am not worried where we finish as long as we simply stay up and I would see that as a massive victory.
But the poor start we have made is making a tough job even tougher. We simply cannot afford anymore hideous defensive displays as against Fulham and now Liverpool, no more hidings, especially in the next two games.
With games against Chelsea and Arsenal followed by a reunion with the old boss, Lambert at Villa Park , chances of that first league win could likely stretch to November . By then we could well be rooted firmly in the bottom three; if not rock bottom; horrible thought, but perhaps a little more worrying, is that eight of the past nine relegated teams all had more points on the board than we have at this stage of the season.
The Villa away isn’t a fixture we should be write off straight away, but it is one where the home side will be expected to take all three points, as they have shown some signs of an upturn in form recently.
If we head into November with these three straight defeats, the task of survival will be massive, and many would see it as mission im[possible too.
Yes, we have been unlucky not to have more points on board, namely against QPR, Spurs and West Ham, but sadly going close doesn't count for anything in May. Many are predicting we are to fall foul of the dreaded second-season syndrome, and to be honest it is hard to argue with them.
But if Hughton gets the response he wants from his players, then nothing is impossible, we know that the players were once capable of pulling out a few surprises, so if we can come through these next three games with 3-4 points on the board, then the scenario could change. At least they would give themselves a slightly springier board to leap from for the next run of fixtures.