WELL the view certainly looks a lot better from halfway up the Championship table.
Being just three points off the play-offs, instead of left languishing above the drop zone courtesy of goal difference, shows just how vital Monday night’s win over Coventry was ahead of two daunting away trips.
But it was not just the result against the Sky Blues that was so important, preceding visits to high-fliers Middlesbrough, on Saturday, and West Ham, on Tuesday. A performance from a side who have come in for much criticism finally showed what they are capable of.
It was heart-warming to see some fluid football return from the boys in blue at Portman Road and hopefully this can be used as a turning point in our stuttering season.
When I first saw the diamond midfield system Paul Jewell had experimented with such dire consequences against Southampton being used again, I must say I grimaced. But I cannot fault a display that saw the full-backs bombing on and the midfield carving open the Coventry defence time and again.
Aaron Cresswell, in particular, was fantastic and the tribunal price of £240,000 looks a snip for a 21-year-old with plenty of promise.
In previous columns I had called for a strike partner to be played alongside Michael Chopra, and although he didn’t have his shooting boots on, it was clear to see how much he benefited from having Jason Scotland alongside him.
Of course, let’s not get carried away, this was a win against a side I expect to struggle this season and had it not have been for Cresswell’s line-clearing heroics, the scoreline could have been different, but the important thing is we have something to build on.
Confidence has been a major factor in holding us back in games, so a convincing home display will do wonders for the atmosphere going into a tough few games against sides who are sure to provide a much sterner examination of our credentials.
Lee Bowyer’s showings so far have left me disappointed but with the ex-Birmingham player getting closer and closer to match fitness, hopefully there is plenty of reason to believe he will begin to flourish in the coming weeks.
Three points from the next six would be a superb return from trips to the Riverside and Upton Park and now Jewell has found a winning formula my message is simple: ‘Don’t change it!’