It’s all about expectations isn’t it? After losing 0-8 at home, a no-score draw away at Wolves seemed like a magnificent achievement. I was ridiculously pleased with the clean sheet and the precious point.
In his interview after the game Gary Rowett made it clear that he’d spent his first few days as manager concentrating on the defending, which I think was the right place to start after the calamitous collapse in the previous game. I was impressed with what he’d managed to do in less than a week, especially the way he’d got Michael Morrison in on loan and fitted him into the team with only one day’s training. When he was talking about building from the back, Rowett said that there would be attacking opportunities if they were patient enough. It seems as though a solid defence will continue to be his main priority. He doesn’t want players to wear themselves out by being too gung ho in attack but to wait for the openings that provide the best chance of success.
This set me wondering if the St Andrew’s crowd is going to be patient enough. For the first few games, I think most of us will be happy with anything better than a collapse. But will the crowd continue to be content if performances are more battling than sparkling? It’s more exciting to watch our players charging down the field towards the opponents’ goal than to see our defence keep hold of the ball with unspectacular passes. At present, there is an air of renewed hope among supporters. That’s wonderful as long as it doesn’t lead to an unrealistic rise in expectations. Yes, our new manager has made a good start and he may get more out of our players, but they are still the same players and are not going to turn into stars overnight.
I’m writing this for myself really; I have stupidly high expectations for the game against Watford tomorrow.