By Graham Ford
CITY'S dazzling performance in thrashing promotion chasing Huddersfield 4-0 last Friday took me somewhat by surprise.
However, having seen them win at Wigan a week before, when I detected a change of mood in the camp, maybe I should have been ready for the change in fortunes.
Is it coincidental that the departure of John Pemberton and the arrival of Jamie McAllister to the first team set up has brought this change in form?
City were irresistible and they pressed Huddersfield in a way the visitors have done to others this season and they had no answer to it. There were superb performances all over the pitch and none better that Calum O’Dowda on the wing.
At last, he showed us the skill that made him a favourite at Oxford and he has finally broken through.
I expect him to start regularly now. Korey Smith has solved the problem of the right back position. Superb at Wigan the week before, he built on that showing and nobody was going to pass him last Friday.
Tammy Abraham continues to show why he will become a real force in the Premiership, sadly not with us.
Lee Tomlin , so frustrating at times showed the audacity that only he can, lifting the team and the crowd. Aden Flint’s brilliant back heeled goal summed up an evening that now gives us real hope that we will dig ourselves out of the hole we have created. It’s good to see Frank Fielding back in goal. He has an understanding with Flint that has been forged over time and he looked back to his best.
An away fixture is next after the break at Brentford and optimistic as ever, of the eight games that are left, it’s only the one away at Brighton that gives me concern.
I think we need ten more points from the last eight games. Given we have to play some of the strugglers, it is all in our own hands. The crowd came to life against Huddersfield.
It was a fantastic wall of noise and if that can be repeated, we will pick up home points. Easter will be crucial but there is definitely a change of mood now, both on and off the pitch.
I wrote some months ago, that Lee Johnson did not know his best team. I would suggest that either by design or accident, he now knows the best 11. He needs to stick as much as possible to that line up. Changes of personnel and formation give little chance of consistency.
Finally a word of good wishes to former Manager and Dad of Lee, Gary Johnson.
He is recovering from major surgery and every City fan will wish the man who got us within ninety minutes of the promised land a speedy recovery.
It seems a long way off before Lee will get close to Dad’s achievements at Ashton Gate but at last there is a green shoot of hope.