Judgement postponed on Coleman's City
Once again the Sky Blues are left needing one more result to push them over the line of Championship safety after what has been a depressingly familiar end of season collapse, reminiscent of earlier campaigns in the second tier.
City's first season in the Championship was marked by a spectacularly poor run of form in the final seven games which ended play-off hopes and saw the club part company with Roland Nilsson as manager amidst angry scenes in the away end during an abject 4-0 hammering at Preston.
A year later and after just one league win between New Year's Day and the end of the season, Gary McAllister escaped any flak from the fans, aware that his hands had been tied financially although some of his loan and free transfer signings were questionable to say the least.
One win in seven marked the end of Iain Dowie's first few months in charge then under Chris Coleman it has been two wins from ten (2007/08), one from eleven (2008/09) and currently none from eight in 2009/10.
Coleman has had a relatively smooth ride from fans to date and there is goodwill towards the Welshman, who clearly enjoys the full backing of his chairman and who presents a good image as the club's figurehead to the media.
On paper, younger, better players have been signed and the squad looks in much better shape than it did two years ago.
Frustration with current performances comes because we have glimpsed what is achievable and now seen it replaced by the achingly familiar.
But results are the ultimate judge and despite being backed in the transfer market, Coleman sees his side (and it is clearly his own side now with all those starting at Bramall Lane on Saturday having been signed by him) occupying the same league position as they finished in last season and similar to the one they held when he took over from Dowie.
With a number of new players having come in in January, protestations that another close season is needed just about ring true despite the faster progress seen at other clubs.
And City could yet end up with over 60 points this season and a top-half finish.
Let's get a couple of good home wins against Preston and Watford, secure Championship football and once again keep the faith.
Play up Sky Blues.
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