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A big month ahead

Happy New Year everybody.

Well, January 1st has finally arrived and we can now see if the reports of numerous additions to the squad actually bears out.

Given the nature of the January window, I haven't changed my view that the galaxy of all-stars will not arrive quite yet, but rather expect 3 or 4 solid signings, the type of players Hughes wants and definitely players who can slot in and improve the side immediately.

It is a strange feature of the January window that most of the deals are concluded towards the end of the month but I imagine Hughes will be looking to strike quickly and have the players in place by January 10th (our first league game after the Forest FA Cup tie).

The Premier League has had a strange feel to it so far this season with so many teams bunched together and seperated by so few points. My own view is that it is not beyond the realms of possibility for us to aim for the top six or seven position by the end of the season to gain UEFA qualification given the lack of real stand out sides.

What is important in achieving this though is how we fare in January.

Following the Forest game, we have four league fixtures in the opening month of the year:
  • Jan 10th Portsmouth (a)
  • Jan 17th Wigan (h)
  • Jan 28th Newcastle (h)
  • Jan 31st Stoke (a)
A lot has of course been written about crucial sets of games already this season but with the undoubted boost that new arrivals will bring, coupled with the boost in confidence from the two games over the Christmas period I do feel we could we be well set to have a very good month.

The two home games are both winnable, whilst Portsmouth are out of sorts and Stoke slipping into the relegation zone. What will be as important though are the players who will be arriving. The signings that will be made in January are unlikely to sate the appetite of the press in search of big names but should be the very players that will enable us to kick on from where we are now, and it is important that they do come in and click right away.

A ten point return from January will be a welcome start.