Talking points following the Derby win
After two wins on the bounce, the positivity is back for the first time since last season! We look at the main talking points from the victory over Derby on Saturday.
Stam has fended off his doubters, for now - The 'Stam Out' brigade have quietened down in the past week, that's not to say they weren't justified in asking questions. This has definitely bought Stam some time after a poor run of results, but this doesn't mean it's all forgiven. Another couple of losses and the pressure will be right back on, we all need to build on this result and put a run together to get us up the table and back in the promotion list.
Aluko is starting to hit the heights we expected - A few fans were slating the form of our record signing, which I personally disagreed with (as he supplied 3 assists in his first 3 games), but he's adding the goals to his game to justify the price tag. In games previous, he has often been playing a lot deeper, but the previous two games he has been getting in good areas in the box and with his quick feet, it's not surprise to see him adding to the scoresheet. More of the same again please!
Eight points off play-offs with a game in hand proves this season is far from done - I know we're closer to the bottom than the top, but we should know (especially with our history in this league), all it takes is a run and you are right in the mix. We still have a game in hand from the Barnsley postponement and if we were to win that, would only be five points off. We're a third through the season, so there is plenty to play for.
The international break may halt our momentum, but allows us to ease the injury situation - You never want an international break when you have just put a decent run together, but with a couple of academy lads named on the bench the other day, it shows the squad is slightly stretched. We currently have ten first teamers on the treatment table - Watson, Ilori, van den Berg, Obita, McCleary, Quinn, Evans, Harriott, Mendes and Bodvarsson. We won't get all back and ready, but it will also give us a chance to get Yann's fitness up.
We can forget about relegation nonsense - Even when we were in our bad patch of form, not at any point did I think we would be threatened by relegation. I'm not saying we are going to steam up the table, but without a shadow of a doubt, there is going to be three teams worse this season. Sunderland are showing no signs of improvement, Bolton have picked up in recent weeks but may not be able to hold out, Burton and Bolton are massively struggling for goals. We have enough quality to not be in any danger.