1. Nine games in, lying fourth in the table, City have made a decent start to 2015/16, yet there remains a nagging feeling that the Tigers are underachieving. Possessing arguably the best side in the division, we are not playing as advertised.
2. The draw against Blackburn was deeply disappointing, and most definitely felt like two points chucked away rather than one gained. Though we created a lot of chances, many were from long range as we failed to break down a packed defence, and despite Blackburn looking distinctly average, we found ourselves barely hanging on late in a game we should have won comfortably.
3. Steve Bruce is right to say that many players are not playing as well as expected, but the lack of sustained tempo, urgency and purpose combined with a mindset of holding onto a lead rather than trying to increase it is surely down to him.
4. The manager doesn’t yet seem to know what his best eleven is, and we’ve already abandoned the formation that we started the season with. Is it really any wonder that players look equally unsure of what their role is? Saying that we are still a work in progress does not inspire confidence.
5. Colour commentating earlier this season, former ‘keeper Steve Harper confirmed a suspicion that Steve Bruce led training sessions focused almost entirely on defending, when a failure to score goals was the most pressing problem. That doesn’t seem to have changed this year, talented front players seem to be operating entirely using their own initiative rather than being part of a coordinated plan to create chances and score goals.
6. Despite the defence first mindset, we were again undone by a goal conceded from a set piece. Picking up Jordan Rhodes on a corner kick seems quite academic doesn’t it?
7. Never picking Eldin Jakupović for a City first team again also seems quite academic. He is nowhere near the standard required to be a Championship reserve keeper, and at the age of 30, sadly he never will.
8. He was the one low point in an otherwise hugely enjoyable League Cup victory last week. Faced, for the first time at home this season, with a side intent on attacking and capable of retaining possession, City had to play a very different way. We rode our luck, created a few chances, took one and then snuffed out a decent Premier League side. No matter what qualifications you seek to place upon this game, that’s impressive.
9. Leicester at home in the next is as good as we could have hoped for in a tournament whose 2015/16 edition is unhelpfully declining to oust many of the bigger clubs from its list of survivors. We can win that. The League Cup Fifth Round. Imagine that.
10. There can’t be much money to be made from Under 21 games, so the reinstatement of free entry for pass-holders is a laudable move.