Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Monday November 12 2007
Post Chelskigate, City have registered three clean sheets, picked up four valuable points and reached the League Cup Quarter finals. We also head into mid November third in the Premier League.
Boy, would we have settled for that after the six niller!
Positive stuff. We can now look forward to welcoming Reading to Fortress Eastlands in good heart and with renewed confidence.
Following that game, the December fixture list in the run up to Christmas sees a string of games that this City team is more than capable of winning. Those fixtures will prove pivotal in how the second half of our season shapes up.
International breaks are handy for relatively small squads such as City's. We continue to be fortunate where injuries are concerned. Not only that, it's imperative to start the break with a good result and the hard fought draw at Fratton Park was no exception.
There are clear signs now that this team are prepared to dig deep and show character. They have responded to their humiliation at Chelsea by evidently following Sven's advice and learning to defend again. Sure, some of the football hasn't been pretty and we've rode our luck on occasions, but there's no doubting that coming back with some pride after a nightmare defeat like that takes some doing. The signs at Pompey were that the team's play is starting to flow again.
The two main plus points for me against Portsmouth were firstly, Joe Hart and his saves. He is showing terrific potential between the sticks. Secondly, the solid performance of Gelson Fernandes, who was touted as a possible replacement for the injured Michael Johnson on this very site but only picked up 9% of the vote. Andy Hinchcliffe, commentating on Magic 1152 was impressed by Gelson's tireless workrate and named him 'The Tasmanian Devil.' - If the lad keeps at it, it's a nickname that might just stick!
So, time to take a breather again and get ready for welcoming Reading. Only nine months ago, an abysmal, clueless City side stood aside and handed The Royals a 0-2 win. We wandered out of Eastlands in collective disbelief.
Reading have shipped fourteen goals in their last three Premier League away fixtures and have not won away in the league all season.
Payback time, I reckon.
Date:Monday November 12 2007
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