Now the dust has settled and 3 big points in the bag, many can breathe a little sigh of relief, but don't caught up too much in basking in the light from a win. While a reasonable showing it still wasn't that convincing, old flaws are still there. Had Jelavic's effort hit another inch or so the other side, it may have been a totally different story, confidence is that precarious at the moment both on and off the green stuff.
The experts say the League is very tight which few can argue with, I would also add that it is very poor as as well, teams from tenth downward are all in danger, one defeat can see anyone of them being sucked into sticky mire at the lower end. If City can have such a poor season and still be in 12th a position, quickly highlighted by the pro Hughton supporters in any argument with those of a different camp, I have to consider if the quaility of those around us and below is that good.
For me, the standard really isn't that good. It can be be said it is some what of a false position, but we are there whether we deserve to be is another matter, there are no points for simply deserving something, those precious commodities have to be earned.
The gulf between the premier League and the Championship has always said to great, that's why the promotion prize is that large helping those embarking on that Journey to have a helping hand. There was always said that the Premier League could be seen as having three smaller leagues, the Top eight, the mid table teams and those lower relegation haunted teams.
But now I believe it has evolved into just two tiers, the top ten with ambitions and hopes of Europe, and the rest fighting to get away from being sucked into the sticky clay that is relegation. That Gulf has grown wider and wider as the richer clubs get more spending power, while many of the lower class clubs are a little more inclinded to save a little for a rainy Championship day....just in case.
You would have to serious problems to want to be in the championship, which make the Premier League the only place to be no argument, a no brainer. Gone are the days when you didn't worry quite so much if you went down, keep a lot of the squad together and come straight back up. The Championship, League One and even League Two has teams who graced the premier stage not so long ago, but are struggling to get anywhere near it again. I believe Nottingham Forest, once the kings of Europe have been away for the top flight for 15 seasons, Derby County another highly successful side, had a very brief foray but were soon plonked through the trap door, even those down the A140 are struggling like heck to get back to the promised land.
Why the history lesson on past teams ? Just to show how precious our position is at present, OK we might not be that convincing on the pitch: but we are not alone in that, a quick mention of Swansea, who have won more praise than most for their football, are struggling too, after suffering a crunching home defeat to Spurs at the weekend; which leaves them below us in 15th place.
Now I talk to myself here as well, I have never been a large Hughton fan since day one, there are other stories revolving around the success at Newcastle, that's beside the point, we have him as manager, like it or not those in control of the club are aware and have decided to continue with him. So there really isn't much point in keep harping on and on shouting for his head; it isn't going to happen.
It is worth remembering...
Every person involved in football shouted the odds when Hughton were relieved of duties at St James Park, just where was the club sitting in the league...Yes that's right 12th place. Just about everyone claimed how unjust, how wrong it was and the sympathy flowed towards Hughton and his colleagues. Just how would our club look if they took the self same step.
Just a thought. There are positives to look forward to, Pilkington is back, Tetty is back, Howson must be getting closer, a player I believe we have missed more than some. Another I believe we have missed is Elliot Bennett, his pace, his defensive cover but above all his crossing and looking for the by-line. Plus the transfer window is still open. There should be enough for City faithfull to revel in, I am sure there are many many thousands of supporters watching their teams in the lower levels who would cut off their arms to be in our position.
As a footnote I see Danial Ayala is wanted by Middlesbrough either on loan or a permanent deal, I always thought the lad needed a little more time and first team football, he has now had that at Forest and Bro; we have no cover for Bennett and Bassong with Turner sidelined, why are we looking to sell him or let him go again ? He was not terrible, useless, why not bring him home, save the money for the summer window or for other areas and then decide when we know where we are going to be playing next season for sure.