Lee Clark says he is seeing ‘bright things’ about Birmingham City’s play.
He was not downbeat after Blues defeat by Cardiff City, which followed on from a fine win at Brighton & Hove Albion.
“In the last two games I have seen bright things,” said the manager.
“We have been to two very tough places and been more in the game and handled the opposition very well.
“I certainly feel we should have got something from Cardiff and then it would have been two positive results.
“Barnsley was a horrific performance, a horrendous day. But it was a blip in our season.”
The Championship is shaping up to be a very close contest.
Perhaps even more so than in previous years.
After Blues went and won at then leaders Brighton, the gap from 10th to top was a mere three points.
Blues, of course, went from being biffed by Barnsley to becoming the first side to win at the Amex Stadium.
Curtis Davies summed the division up neatly in the wake of the Brighton win.
“How we go from Barnsley to this, it is crazy, but this league is crazy,” said the centre-half.
“I really can’t explain this league.
“I looked at a few of the results earlier before our game and it was a mixed bag.
“We were something strange last week, on the other end of it, and no one would have expected this.
“Going to a team that has won five on the spin, after that 5-0 defeat, was a home banker on paper.
After Tuesday’s result, Blues have 11 points from nine games.
Their start, in regard to points return, is not much different to a year ago (14 points, nine games). But the perception, with less pressure and expectation on Blues, was.
“Last year we had the excuse as well of the European games,” said Davies. “So I think that sat with people a little bit better. It’s one of those things. This league is a very strange league.
“Some people will get out to a flyer, and stay with it, some won’t. Some will start slow and then push on.
“You start to see the real league around January time when teams begin to make a bit of a play for it. That’s when it will be proven whether we’re good or not.
“Last year we were down the table most of the time because of the games in hand, the catch up because of Europe.
“But, like I say, we just have to do what we can every week and start pushing on up the table.
Obviously sooner rather than later. But it is a long old season.
“The Championship is a strange league. We will win some games we are not meant to, and lose some games we are not meant to.
“As long as we are winning more than we’re losing then I’ll be happy.”
Blues are at home to Clark’s old club Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
After landing the Blues job, he insisted he had no point to prove to Terriers chairman Dean Hoyle.
Clark was sacked by Hoyle in February.
“It was a very simple conclusion in the end – I had lost faith in Lee’s ability to get the club into the top two,” said Hoyle, who appointed Clark in December 2008.
Simon Grayson came in – Huddersfield were fourth in League On at the time – and with what was Clark’s team squeaked past Sheffield United on penalties in the play-off final.
“There were too many good things that happened there for me to be negative,” Clark said, when asked about Hoyle in his unveiling Blues media conference.
“There are so many good people there, including the owner. I have not got an issue with him. I didn’t see his quotes.
“It doesn’t hurt. That’s one man’s opinion. All I can say is that I was four points off second when I left, so they might not have needed a play-off place.”