1. A fine victory at Nottingham Forest. City created chances in the first half, controlled the game smoothly, took a deserved lead and held onto it well. Not quite the complete performance, and there’s still that feeling we have higher gears to click into, but nonetheless this was a very encouraging and enjoyable afternoon.
2. If there’s a gripe, it’s that City had to hold on a little in the closing stages, even against ten men. The Tigers ought to have settled the game earlier and it meant we had to experience an anxious finale.
3. Nonetheless, there was plenty to savour. With Mo Diamé and the excellent Jake Livermore providing him with cover, Tom Huddlestone was able to run the game in a way we’ve seen him do regrettably infrequently. On this occasion, he was a delight. His passing was immaculate, his contribution to the tempo of our play fluid and even his tracking back and tackling were impressive. Where a month ago he wasn’t worth picking, if he can replicate that form more often, he’ll be undroppable.
4. At the back, Dawson and Davies were superb. Forest didn’t create much, but most of what they did floundered on our defensive rocks. They may still harbour Premier League ambitions, but there’s been no evidence of sulking from either -and when things got tough, they didn’t shirk.
5. Who saw Abel Hernández tirelessly leading the line for us this season, then? Another goal, albeit from a distance of approximately 6 microns, another game harassing the opposition defence, he was again terrific. An honourable mention to Sam Clucas too, who sometimes looks as though he’s taking a little while to adjust to playing for a side in the upper reaches of the Championship – increasingly, he looks comfortable doing so.
6. Outside the ground and on the way home, we learned from Nottinghamshire types that our victory was ill-deserved and owed itself to the referee. So now we know. While that does completely spoil our fourth successive victory in a row at an appositely named ground, nothing could spoil the fun that was being had on the terrace and the concourse. Two thousand City fans in fine voice was a reminder that although football seems determined to destroy itself (see next point), it won’t be allowed to go without a fight.
7. Saturday saw the Football Supporters’ Federation’s “Twenty’s Plenty” campaign receive plenty of publicity. The campaign aims to encourage clubs not to charge more than £20 for away tickets, something Forest did, that City routinely do and is commonplace virtually everywhere in the top two divisions.
8. Doubtless, the accounting staff at clubs pore over supply and demand graphs and justify their steepling annual price rises with continued full or mostly full stadia, and secretly dismiss fans as annoying pests intent upon greedily saving themselves a few quid. But that really isn’t the case. Football’s demographic crisis has been written about extensively and the clubs are going to seriously hurt themselves if they don’t stop constantly extorting ever greater sums. The problem is that this damage will occur in the long term, and this is a sport notorious for its short-termism. But City, believe us, for your own good as much as ours, £20 really is enough.
9. Apropos short-termism, it was noted on Twitter that Steve Bruce is now the 8th longest serving manager in the country. Madness.
10. Of all the people who did harm to City in the recent past, it was a surprise to learn that Nick Buchanan was the first to shuffle off this mortal coil. His reign, alongside Stephen Hinchliffe, feels a long time ago now.