Whilst those (myself included) were perhaps guilty of overstating the need to get a win from today's game, the fact that we did come away with the three points was certainly important.
When the side stepped onto the pitch, they would have known the weekends results which were on the whole favourable. Although Tottenham came through a tricky fixture at Stoke with a win, Aston Villa dropped points and Liverpool were defeated which, if we can come through Wednesday against with a win will not only see us go fourth, but put some distance between ourselves and Liverpool.
Questions about the sides character have been raised all season in the press, but as I've written before, this squad does not appear scarred by the struggles of the past. 'Typical City' is not something you suspect is often discussed in the dressing room.
Defeat would have meant a five point gap between ourselves and Tottenham in fourth, so to come away with the points with a solid performance is a big statement of intent.
Given their exertions on Thursday it was difficult to envisage Fulham lasting the pace for the full ninety minutes. The only issue therefore was how we would start. Perhaps mindful of previous games, Roberto Mancini went with a more attacking 4-4-2, likely with the intention of not allowing Fulham time to develop any rythmn and to try and kill the game early, which was achieved by half-time with the cushion of a 2-0 lead. Even though Fulham did get a lifeline back into the game, the victory was a deserved one.
The victory was secured once again through the duo of Craig Bellamy and Carlos Tevez, their importance to the side and our ambitions once again highlighted today. Tevez again on the scoresheet, whilst Bellamy was the creator of the opener scored by Roque Santa Cruz and their continued fitness and form will be central to our hopes over the remainder of the season.
From our last three away games (Chelsea, Sunderland and Fulham) we have taken seven points, a return that we would have definitely taken beforehand. It is dangerous to look too far ahead of course, but of the nine games remaining we have six at home and a little run of games that look to be 'winnable'.
Favourites for fourth?