Transfer window over, we can now look forwards to the rest of the season. No mega-signings, but didn't really expect any and I doubt it was possible. A few targets got away, but that's going to happen.
Reckon what we have is moderate but useful improvements in areas where Bruce left us especially weak. Starting with the goalkeeper, Kilinic looks as though he's still settling in, but there are signs he's a distinct improvement over Nyland. And if he isn't, then we have Steer as backup.
The dodgy back line also gets a boost. If Mings is over his injury problems, then he's a step up over what we have, and is our first proper left-sided CB for a long time. He should allow Chester to be rested to recover from his knee problems. Hause didn't look too impressive on his debut but it's early days, and again a much-needed left-side player. He'll battle it out with Taylor, who is looking better of late (actually playing is a big help!). Guibert is obviously looking to the future, a means of replacing one or both of Hutton and Elmo next summer both of whom are ageing, and on paper looks a good buy. All in all, progress.
Carroll was a last minute buy, but we must have been looking at him to get him that quick. Strikes me he's a Michael Carrick type player, under the radar but effective in getting things moving forwards. Maybe not the ideal addition, a mid-field enforcer would have been nice, but still an improvement with a fair amount of experience.
So to Reading. Reckon there's a good chance Mings will replace Chester. Kalinic will remain in goal. Think the others will be introduced from the bench, if at all. Not much to say about the match except we have to win it!
Disappointed with that but we kept a clean sheet and got an away point
It has got to get better
Result's disappointing. But ... all the signs are there that Elphick and Mings can form the strong defensive partnership we need. The fact they played together at Bournemouth should help.
We were a bit unlucky today further forwards. We're missing Jack, but we were still more lively than of late and could have won fairly easily.
Sheffield United should be a big test.
Bigger test coming up. Reckon it could go either way. Our defence now looks stronger, so Sheffield U will have to work hard to score; question is, can we score against them?
Think we can win this; will be a big boost if we do. A loss would be depressing! We can and should be gathering points.
I don’t want to jinx it but I think we can win this, we seem to play better against the better teams.
As Dean has said, with three games this week the situation could be very much different after these games.
What a match. Fair play to Sheffield, they were outstanding at the start. 0-1 at half time was about right. 0-3 down with a dodgy second goal it looked as though our night was over, but our fight back was terrific.
I don't think that Sheffield "won" that game more that we lost it. For 80 minutes we played like we had never met, we improved after the subs were made particularly replacing Jedi who I now think is colour blind. Several players didn't turn up at all. Then for 10 minutes we played like champions and got a point we didn't deserve on 90 minutes.
Pity Grealish is still out because we lack that touch of skill when and where it counts.
We need Grealish badly. Play offs still possible, but looking less likely I have almost resigned myself to one more season in Championship.
Smith needs to mould his own squad and be given time. He is the right man for this job, but needs time to do it.
What has happened to Kodjia? He looks like he doesn't want to be here anymore, shame.
Heard quite a lot of criticisms of Kodjia, but I think he's doing OK in a position he's not comfortable in. DS has said as much; also said that if Tammy was injured Kodj would be the automatic replacement.
Think DS can take this squad only so far. It's still unbalanced and probably some players don't really fit in with his style. Don't think we're out of it yet, though. Having Jack back would make a huge difference.
Reckon both DS and the owners realise that we may be here next season and aren't too worried about it, but at the same time they want us to get up if we can.
On to the next test. Brentford have a habit of turning us over. I think we can win this if don't gift them too many goals. We shall see.