How good are we?

Last updated : 25 September 2006 By Michael Morris
About twenty minutes from the end of yesterday's match I found myself wondering just how impressive our performance really was. The thing is, when you are watching your own team, objectivity tends to go out of the window - good displays become marvellous ones and below par ones are downgraded to awful. That's why it was interesting and instructive to hear what neutrals such as the Sky commentators and pundits thought of us. As it turned out, their opinions matched mine - they were watching a team that is playing with great confidence and ability which, for the moment anyway, is leading the league on merit.

At that moment midway through the second half, I tried to think like a neutral and compare what I was seeing with what I had watched in other televised Championship matches this campaign and the first thing I would say is that I have not seen a more one sided game. I suppose it could be argued that Southend are a poor side, but, their results prior to yesterdays indicate that this isn't the case - if they did look poor, it was because we made them look that way.

I also don't think I have seen a Championship team move the ball about so sweetly in a televised game as we did yesterday. Some of the one touch passing and the movement off the ball was excellent and, especially in the second half, we looked like we could score every time when we went forward, while at the back we were organised and solid - all in all, and trying (but probably failing!) to be neutral, I thought we were the best Championship team I have seen in a live televised game this season by some distance.

The thing is though (having seen seven of our nine matches), I don't think yesterday's display was as good as the ones against West Brom and Birmingham and no better than the ones against Barnsley and Luton - based on the standards we have seen so far, yesterdays was a just above average display!

In my view, there is no point any City fan coming straight out and saying in all seriousness that we are going up this season because, based on what I saw in the Barnet game and have seen in a couple of reserve matches, it would only need about three of the regular starting eleven to be missing for any reason for the standard of performance from the side to drop quite significantly - if and when that happens, we will get a better idea of how the season will finish for us.

However, that is for the future, my attitude for the present is that we should enjoy and relish what we are seeing because Cardiff City teams playing like this one is don't come along too often! In our first four matches, our goalscoring record was pretty ordinary, but we have now got thirteen from our last five games and yet the feeling I get is that it could have been so many more than that - Wolves with their outstanding defensive record (just six goals conceded in nine games with three of them coming in the one game) will be a stern test of our goalscoring capabilities, but we can take comfort in the knowledge that, based on what has been seen so far in the Championship season, next Saturday will represent the toughest challenge they have come up against so far.