You know, just like six games is too early to say you’re a lunatic petulant child for wanting to sack the manager, nine games is also too early to say we’re going to get promoted.

But, two games ago some were calling the manager to be sacked. Hell, some are still calling for it. But we’re two points from top six and after all the changes made in the summer, we’re closer than even I thought we would be after nine games.

And this isn’t me saying I told you so, because that’s too early also and things can change quickly. But it does feel good that I didn’t mug myself off like Howard Hodgson and start calling for the manager to be sacked or salivating over Tom Sherwood. That was his name right?

I’m sorry Howard, I want to thank you again. No Twitter today was lovely. I shouldn’t joke about you or your opinion. Everyone is allowed one.

We did well today. We played with two up front, although the manager won’t call it two strikers. And we looked composed at the right time. Lazy for a part in the second half, but I think that was sort of part of the plan. Sort of.

The first goal came from Kodjia, playing Adomah in who calmly took it past the keeper to slot home. And that took us to half time. But before I continue, it’s probably worth noting that Forest had 62% of the possession in the first half and for the first 10 minutes or so, it was all them.

In the second, it was all Forest again and they scored. It was as if we didn’t have any energy. Or it was if the idea was to soak up the early pressure. Either way, the goal for Forest meant we had to step up our game and we did.

Kodjia went on a run, not long after the Forest goal and got pulled down 25 yards out. Hourihane stepped up and took the free kick and bish bash bosh, it’s 2-1. The game livened up from this point. Or we looked like we found that energy we lacked in the first period of the second half or that period of the match where we decided we'd soak up the pressure.

Kodjia went off with ten to go, but he is my man of the match. You see, last season I thought he was too greedy. Tonight, he made both goals and he also looked like he wanted to play people in.

I think he played well and I think the formation suited him. He might not like not scoring, but for today I liked how he contributed to the team and that was my biggest concern with him as a player in our team.

Anyway, that was the game and it was lovely to hear the Holte End in full voice at the end.

But the thing I want to leave you with is this; we’re two points from a top six place and three points from fourth. Nothing else than that. Nine games in and we’re within touching distance of top six. I think by the time we get to 20 games, we could very well be within touching distance of top two.

We just need patience in a man that had done this before .. quite a few times.

Author: Damian
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Damian started The Villa Blog as a passion project quite a few years ago while he was living in South Africa. Now living in Sweden, it continues. He's originally from Chasetown and grew up when supporting Villa meant there was a real chance of silverware at the start of every season.