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An Extra Ounce of Comfort

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What''s compunded my positivity in the midst of the team having managed

an inspiring and comprehensive comeback - a feat embellished by the

fact that it was a hallmark of our previous succesful manager, and has

deserted us since - against what is, in my opinion,

the only side in this league that can reasonably be said to even hope to

match us man for man in terms of ability, is that having looked at our fixtures so far we''ve

arguably pitted ourselves so well as to sit joint top of the table in

what seems like the toughest stretch of games this season.In

spite of our (eventual) demolishing of Watford, Blackburn and Cardiff,

they have otherwise faired strongly in this league. Watford sit 4th

behind Forest, us and Wolves, Blackburn are 8th and were crucially

unbeaten in the Championship since March last season, and Cardiff''s only loss so far was in the same fixture as ours (and dare i say, with one man less in a crucial position for much of the contest, we made a much better go of it). Ipswich away presents its own obvious difficulties in terms of managing the occasion against a side with a lot of grit under a seasoned Championship manager, and Bournemouth have taken quite smoothly to life in the Championship. Occupying the play-offs for much of last season (and would be in amongst it right now were it not for the luck that deserted them in their undeserved losses to Blackbun and Forest), and having added substantial quality the likes of Gosling and our very own Surman, it''s safe to say Bournemouth in the era of Eddie Howe are not easily cast aside by anyone at this level.Yes we may have

lost to Wolves, but they''ve accompanied that feat by being the only side

so far that can proclaim to having beaten all three relegated sides,

and they''ve also matched our result against what would otherwise in all likelihood be a still unbeaten Blackburn side. They also sit third, beaten

only once (severely unluckily by Rotherham), and evidence so far

suggests they will in no uncertain terms contest the automatic promotion

places throughout the course of the season. It doesn''t need

saying but we were severely off the pace against Wolves, but that in

itself also gives us a comfort of sorts seeing as, were it not for a

sending off we could concievably won that game, and even with 10 men the

stats of 14 shots to 12 hardly signals capitulation. This is when it could

easily have gone that way, away from home, in the notoriously dreaded

and invariably fatal first day of the season, and had that familiar fateful touch us fans are quite accustomed to on this perilous occasion. As far as evidence permits

i would go as far as saying that, with the exception of possibly 1 or 2

fixtures, we''re unlikely to face tougher opposition in more trying circumstances than Wolves away for the rest of the season.Overall I think, results wise, we''re on course for a more fruitful few weeks (which should be harder to say given we''ve amassed the ratio of 2.16 points per game so far, beyond the 2 point margin often targeted by managers for a stake in automatic promotion), and we look in good shape for a very strong promotion push under Adams.

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A good analysis John. We have played teams that will be in the mix come May and so far we have done really well. I predicted in another thread we''ll be well clear by Christmas and I''ll stick by that.

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The loss to Wolves really bugged me, but in many ways is seems a blessing in disguise as Adams changed things after that game and everyone obviously realised that you cannot take anything for granted in this division. Definitely played a lot of the better sides already, but there''s more to come yet with the likes of Boro, Wigan, Derby and Forest for a start. I''m looking forward to us keeping this momentum going and hopefully the other teams will drop off

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