1. Saturday’s 2-0 victory at Nottingham Forest was acutely unexpected. Hardly any of those travelling can have done so with anything but trepidation. Yet here we are, basking in the glow of an exceedingly rare away win and with our foray into the bottom three already ended.
2. That climb into the top 21 may prove to be temporary rather than permanent, for City obviously remain in serious trouble of relegation. It’s just heartening to see something finally being done about it. In much the same way as Sunderland were recently rewarded against us for picking a young side, so Nigel Adkins was at the City Ground.
3. Even the most reality-averse Forest fans (and we’ve been surprised at the quantity of those in 2018) cannot begrudge City the win. Apart from the striking of McGregor’s post, they didn’t threaten City once and during a second half that was a professional exercise in calm containment, they were frankly terrible. But citing their tepid awfulness as the reason for victory does a disservice to Adkins and his players – the former changed things in search of inspiration, the latter made it work.
4. 2-0 didn’t flatter us either. It was close to the complete away performance, raiding with purpose and skill when in possession and retaining a disciplined shape without it. It’s worth noting again that this was hard to see coming, but now we know City do still have it in them, hopes and expectations will naturally rise. Perhaps, despite the best efforts of the Allam family, this season is not lost after all.
4a. That’s now five wins in a row at the City Ground. It’s a freakish sequence for which similar runs in the past don’t readily occur. Four in a row at Halifax were racked up between 1999-2002, but we trust the Shaymen will not be unduly offended if we suggest that rather pales in comparison.
5. Chelsea on Friday. Even with their much-discussed troubles at the moment, a Cup shock of vast proportions continues to feel incredibly unlikely. A gutsy, creditable defeat that doesn’t dent our post-Forest confidence and incurs no injuries feels the best we can hope for.
6. Matty Fryatt retired this week at the age of 31, unable to shake off an Achilles injury after years of surgery and abortive comebacks. For City, he was a reliable and predatory goalscorer with an excellent record and to see him score in the Premier League and especially our historic FA Cup run after spending a year out with another injury was immensely gratifying. We wish him great success in his future endeavours and assure him that his efforts in black and amber will always be appreciated, a fact proved by the throaty singing of his name by City fans at the City Ground at the weekend.
7. If you organise meetings with supporter groups with the explicit intent of heading off protests, then it isn’t out of order to note that protests remain a possibility when after several meetings there has been no action and only words. Supporters aren’t giving up their free time for the privilege of chatting with Ehab, they attend to effect change, and those changes are not difficult and could have already been implemented. We’ve heard enough unfulfilled promises from the Allams to know that their talk is cheap
8. To end a meeting as it begins, wasting people’s time, and spuriously claiming threats have been made, is frankly pathetic and shamelessly manipulative, and further reinforces the belief that the Allams are disingenuous, merely box ticking and creating the illusion of fan consultation that doesn’t exist in reality.
9. HCST’s decision to present scarves on behalf of a group not in attendance was unwise, and cedes a tiny portion of the moral high ground that the Trust has worked hard to justifiably inhabit. However, given that Ehab said in a statement on the official website that he too is ‘ALLAM OUT’ (capitals his), and that meetings have taken place since the scarf offering, it simply isn’t a big deal.
10. We discussed Ehab’s psychological gymnastics to maintain the self image of competence and credibility last week, and he gave a great example in the Radio Humberside interview, stating “I always try to blame myself first before someone else” before shifting the blame for a failure to sell the club and the club’s league position on the fans. Uh-huh.