Things We Think We Think: #29

1: Fourth at Christmas. We can cope with that.

2: A mixed response to one Amber Nectar author’s view that Brian Horton would be a suitable assistant manager to Nick Barmby, which is fair enough. However, as Barmby gets ever nearer to ditching the caretaking caveat and becoming the bonafide boss, the issue of an assistant is a live one. Steve Wigley and Stuart Watkiss both currently hold the title of First Team Coach, so unless one of these is set to take on managerial duties too, then the need to find Barmby the right kind of adherent becomes more pressing.

3: Whether he takes the job or not, no-one can accuse of Nick Barmby of not taking his time to decide, or of making his decision in haste. He’s in a remarkably fortunate position: few managers have had the chance to have a trial run at management at a club where they’re already a hero and with a young, gifted squad.

4: Where on earth were the Millwall fans at the weekend? Whether the purpose of their collective’s previous visits was to watch football or wreak havoc, you could at least always rely on them to pitch up in proper numbers. There was almost one steward per away supporter on Saturday. Were all the hoolies dragged out Christmas shopping by their wives instead?

5: Given that under 200 made it north and were wholly becalmed throughout the entire game, the decision to have mounted police outside the East Stand before kick-off looks even more ridiculous. Sure, that’s carping with the benefit of hindsight, but we’re not paid to use foresight. Others are.

6: Tom Cairney is a very unlucky young man. He played a terrific game at Southampton when roped in to cover Paul McKenna’s one-match ban, and though it was no shock for McKenna – a super footballer – to be recalled afterwards, the fact is that Cairney has since been an unused substitute three times, prior to being dropped altogether by Barmby at the weekend.

7: The Middlesbrough game on Boxing Day has all the ingredients of an absolute classic. A Yorkshire derby between two sides fighting for automatic promotion – yes, we said it – at one of the division’s more atmospheric grounds, a whopping great away following assured, it’s going to be a belter.

8: We just need a result now. Things are getting A Little Bit Serious. More points separate City from 7th than 1st. This is an authentic promotion challenge by the Tigers, even if no-one outside East Yorkshire has realised it yet. Long may that continue, too.

9: News that the site on which Boothferry Park stood is to be redeveloped is welcome. Our wonderful former home being allowed to slowly decay was a grim spectacle indeed.

10: City (and Ipswich) deciding to make it a tenner for season-ticket holders to attend the FA Cup match next month is both a reminder of the competition’s decline, and a very sensible and welcome move.

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