I have been pleasantly surprised that the team have exceeded most people’s expectations and the team have increased more points than we have a right to expect from a squad that is seriously under strength in order to make an impact on the Championship.
It basically means we are punching way above our weight and as injuries and suspensions kick in we will inevitably drop down the table.
The goals conceded against Huddersfield serve only to prove my point when we had to rely on inexperienced youngsters who were found wanting,
The brightest spot has been the transformation of Ben Brereton Diaz metamorphosing from fans’ pantomime villain to messiah in the blink of an eye. His performances have been everything they weren’t in previous seasons and “long may it continue” to use the current boring footballers’ cliche.
At least we now seem to get the best out of the players some of whom perform in their favorite and natural positions, so lack of numbers has meant common sense occasionally prevails.
For once, the majority of supporters approached the season with realism and the start we have had has surprised many.
The understated expectations were understandable considering the lack of incomings, yet the reinvention of Ben Brereton Diaz and the resurgence of Daniel Ayala have been like two new signings – and what signings.
Admittedly our squad is small, but with our loan players not yet embedded and the likes of Dan Butterworth waiting in the wings the short term future looks good… even if the long term outcome remains uncertain.
Currently the players are playing with togetherness, passion and commitment and we can’t ask for much more.
Far better than I could have imagined to be honest. The star of the show has been Brereton-Diaz without a shadow of a doubt and that has amazed me to be honest, but I am so happy for him.
Daniel Ayala has been a steadying rock at the back which I couldn’t have imagined writing 12 months ago and Tyrhys Dolan has kicked on and on.
So far Leighton Clarkson has had minimal impact and at times he looks out of his depth but he has time on his side.
To be in the top six after almost a quarter of the season is a good start but it’s not where you start but where you finish.
Bar one or two teams it seems a mediocre league so far and any great run of consistency can see you grab a play-off place.
The worrying thing is the size and back up of the squad as we saw at Huddersfield with the absence of Darragh Lenihan and then Ryan Nyambe.