Steve Cotterill's Blues take a step in the right direction
When Steve Cotterill walked out of the tunnel as Birmingham City manager for the first time last night, he would have had an apprehensive feeling in his gut.
After witnessing Blues' apathetic thrashing at Hull a fortnight ago, Cotterill knew he would have his work cut out from day one.
But it's amazing what a couple of weeks of intense training and a clear detailed game plan can do.
While it's early days in Cotterill's reign, both he and his Assistant Manager Lee Carsley will be more than happy with the green shoots of recovery that have reared their head.
Football is a simple game often made unnecessarily complicated by managers and coaches. And yet there was nothing complicated about Blues' system last night. Just organisation, pace, power and energy.
If this is a sign of things to come, you won't hear many complaints.
Players like Che Adams, Isaac Vassell, Jeremie Boga and Jota give Blues an attacking threat. The likes of Michael Morrison, Marc Roberts, Harlee Dean and Jonathan Grounds are decent, solid professionals and in Maxime Colin, Blues possess one of the best full backs in the division.
However, the most significant improvement against Cardiff was in the middle of the park. Cotterill's men had a toughness about them which coincided with Maikel Kieftenbeld's return to the team. The Dutchman may not be the most technically gifted footballer but he could be a real asset if utilised correctly.
Let's not get too ahead of ourselves here. It was a good start and a pleasing performance. There's a long way to go and Cotterill must give Blues their identity back and introduce some consistency.
It's a step in the right direction though.
Follow Rob on Twitter @wild3y86