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Well to be honest if we aren''t safe by then, then it means we haven''t picked up the points against the teams we really should be beating. That said I have complete faith that we will be comfortable, I don''t expect it to be half as close this year and can see hull and palace struggling to get above 30 points this year.

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The stupid thing about people going on and on about the run-in is as though others don''t have to play these games at all.

It is a tricky run of games, but so what - at this level there''s always potentially tricky runs around the corner. If we are mid-table or better it won''t matter that much, and if we are near the bottom there is a benefit to not playing the teams around us.

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There''s always going to be a difficult patch somewhere in the season. Villa have a four match run against top teams to start the season and that''s far worse, IMO. Bad starts can be hard to overcome. City''s start is reasonable by comparison, and hopefully we can build on that with a decent run of games. Also both games at Christmas are at home, so that is an advantage. As the last two games last season showed, playing the big teams at the end of the season can sometimes be an advantage.

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The last 4 games are not nice and Fulham away is always a nightmare but all this means is that we should have hit 40 points against other teams by beginning of April. Our first 6 games are winnable and we should at least get a good start to build on.

Palace Sunderland Newcastle have also got tricky run ins

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[quote user="lake district canary"]The run in is not a negative scenario at all!    It means we will more than likely have picked  up enough points not to be anywhere near the bottom of the table by then.   Saving the big matches to the last five could be the icing on the cake.  Get into a comfortable position by playing so called "easier" opposition  (more easy in the mind than in reality) then be in a position to have a really good go in the last five games.   We saw what could happen if we are free from restraint and full of confidence last season.  If we are somewhere mid table by the last five games this is going to be a superb ending to the season, being able to have a good go at five top clubs.   Bring it on.

[/quote]"We saw what could happen if we are free from restraint and full of confidence last season." What do you mean by that LDC, I assume you are referring to the Man City game. Odd choice of words, do you feel we were restrained during the early part of  2013 and that`s why we had such a bad run?  

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[quote user="thefutureisyellow"][quote user="lake district canary"]The run in is not a negative scenario at all!    It means we will more than likely have picked  up enough points not to be anywhere near the bottom of the table by then.   Saving the big matches to the last five could be the icing on the cake.  Get into a comfortable position by playing so called "easier" opposition  (more easy in the mind than in reality) then be in a position to have a really good go in the last five games.   We saw what could happen if we are free from restraint and full of confidence last season.  If we are somewhere mid table by the last five games this is going to be a superb ending to the season, being able to have a good go at five top clubs.   Bring it on.[/quote]"We saw what could happen if we are free from restraint and full of confidence last season." What do you mean by that LDC, I assume you are referring to the Man City game. Odd choice of words, do you feel we were restrained during the early part of  2013 and that`s why we had such a bad run?  [/quote]

"free from restraint and full of confidence" - First half against Sunderland at home, first half Swansea away come to mind as they were very important games at the time.  The second halves of those matches showed that confidence can be fragile at times and buckled a bit both those games after the break.  But in those two matches we were unstoppable for 45 minutes and the West Brom and Man City game  really showed that the ability and confidence is still there.   

For me, after  Christmas, the pressure to maintain the standards we set before Christmas got to us and the team struggled to find that confidence again.  That they kept going and eeking out points was a credit to them in what was, lets face it, a very pressurised and difficult stage of the season.  Restrained, yes, but only through nerves and pressure, not through any tactical differences from our good run before Christmas.

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If we haven''t got at least 40 points from the preceding fixtures we deserve to get relegated.

I''d like to think we will be safe long before these fixtures appear on the horizon, from the very fact that we haven''t dropped points by playing these hard to get a result games earlier in the season.

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