1. The four successive home games that events conspired to produce, four games that were always going to have a significant bearing on our survival prospects, are concluded. And the verdict is in: we might, just might, be okay.
2. It didn’t seem that way at 10pm on Tuesday, in the aftermath of the 2-1 defeat to Millwall. In a season filled with lows, it was arguably the lowest – a pitiful, rancid non-show in a game of obvious importance, chock-full of feckless individual displays. City stank, from the first minute in which the tone for the evening was set, right through the clueless attempts to remedy the situation later in the game. They were awful.
3. Nigel Adkins’ post-match comments, a genre that we’re already tiring of, offered little comfort. Digging out Angus McDonald while not referring to the illness he remembered later in the week sounded acutely unwise. Meanwhile, there was an air of bewilderment akin to Leonid Slutsky’s latter days, and it all augured very ill indeed.
4. 39 minutes into Saturday’s game against Norwich, and that feeling of doom will have been strongly reinforced. Already 3-1 down, having conceded a brace of penalties and lost an early lead, it’d have been a brave or rather foolhardy City fan who confidently expected anything from the game and the season in general.
5. Yet one ended with a stunning 4-3 triumph, while the outlook for the season as a whole looks rosier now. Okay, the decision to award City a second penalty – crazily, the game’s fourth – was an absolute shocker, surely the worst decision we’ve seen all season, either for or against. But City capitalised in this stroke of fortune by not settling for an unlikely point, but striving for an incredible three. Wilson’s goal gave us the three points, and by the end of the game City were worth them.
6. It’s a comeback of such unlikely proportions that it’s had City historians trying to recall the last instance of a two-goal deficit becoming a win. Was it 3-2 against Derby in 1985? (not long after the 1-4 to 5-4 at Orient, coincidentally) Whenever it was, it’s probably something approaching a once-in-a-generation event for City. And players (and manager) who’ve received plenty of oft-meritted scorn this season deserve immense credit for engineering such a startling turnaround.
7. It may just prove to be transformative. Another series of friendly results elsewhere saw it create a six-point gap between City and the bottom three – and of course, none of the current bottom five stand any realistic chance of beating the Tigers’ -6 goal difference, so it’s effectively seven points. That’s a gap that can still be overturned, and it’s be gravely irresponsible to imagine that having finally hauled ourselves back to a point-a-game average, it’s job done. It isn’t. But Championship survival is absolutely ours to lose.
8. It’s another two-game week, so there’s plenty of scope for dramatic improvement or disappointing setbacks. Two away games feature, Ipswich (12th, and with nothing to play for) and Birmingham (22nd, and in dire trouble) is an interesting pair of games. If the point-a-game record survives through until 5pm on Saturday, that’ll probably constitute a good week for City.
9. Meanwhile, the club has kept a promise (we know…) to offer consultation on the reintroduction of concessions. Needless to say, they’ve done it in a grudging and deeply imperfect manner. The two choices on offer are clumsily enacted concessions with some bizarre exclusions and qualifiers, or the present hateful system of excluding kids, seniors and disabled fans from discounts. So it’s a crap choice, and the club hasn’t done enough to address concerns about the appalling unfairness of the present situation, or ensure the club has a fanbase in the future.
10. Nonetheless, voting for a change seems the least worst option. The prospect of giving Ehab Allam a chance to gloat that fans were consulted and voted against concessions is ghastly, and once the principle is re-established that certain groups ought to receive discounts, we can set to work on improving them in the future. We’d therefore vote, with little enthusiasm, to accept these proposals. Then continue to pressure the club to do it properly.