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The January magic wand

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We're coming into the most important fortnight in our season so far. A trip to Spain on Thursday night, to West Brom on Sunday, Hull at home on Boxing Day and then Ewood Park two days later. A good run of results, and we can still salvage our season. Bad, and anything is possible.

>>the lonesome death of roy carroll.

A good post by Jack, and one that raises the possibility that we could be in a degree of trouble.

Despite our recent poor form - just two wins in twelve games lest we forget, most of the focus from media and fans alike has been on January, and the riches this could invariably bring.

However, with the way the weekends results have gone we now find ourselves just a single point above the relegation places. Although the way the Premier League has gone this season though we are just nine points off sixth place and face a trio of games which on paper are clearly winnable and could see us shoot up the table.

Our form this season though has seen us look anything like being able to put a run together with our return so far being:

(Games 1-6) LWWLWL
(Games 7-12) LDWLLL
(Games 13-17) DWLDL

Not really a pattern of form that suggests any degree of consistency is likely to be achieved.

Hughes himself seems keen to hit January as early as possible if these comments are any barometer of his desire to bring in new faces:
"In January, I would like to be as quick as
possible in terms of buying players," he said.
"We don't want to be going to
the last minute of the transfer window, that doesn't help, sometimes you don't
get the players you want. We want it dealt with pretty quickly.

I am yet to be convinced that January will yield quite the number of high profile, world class players that has been suggested though, yet this period is being talked about as when our season will really kick into gear.

The danger we do have is the lower we are in the table, will this affect potential signings? Hughes's aim a couple of weeks was to be in the top ten at the start of 2009, which (coupled with UEFA progression from the group stages) could set us up for the second half of the season though.

What has been apparant though so far is that although we do have the personnel to be far higher in the table than we currently reside, the fact is we are struggling and I think Hughes has yet to fully get to grips with the squad.

As we are seeing elsewhere in the Premier League though, time is not a commodity managers are often blessed with. I don't subscribe to the view that we need to get rid of Hughes, but clearly things are not right and you do wonder if his brand of man-management may not always sit well with certain members of the squad.

He (Hughes) spoke of the need to bring players in sooner rather than later in January (a curious apsect is that most deals are concluded at the end of the window), but whilst new faces are undoutedly due to arrive, is this period really going to be a time where everything suddenly clicks into gear?