It certainly wasn`t as impressive as the 5-2 win the week before, but in some senses, the way we ground out the win against Birmingham was equally as impressive.
We have been conceding goals for fun this season, and the Blues put us under some pressure in the final stages, and it was good to see some grit and determination to secure the three points.
Things are beginning to take shape under Karanka`s management, and here a few things we can take away from the 2-1 victory:
1) Consistency for the first time
Having one bad result following a good one has been a mainstay of our season so far, but our four match unbeaten run seems to indicate we are finally turning a corner in terms of consistency.
A lot of that is down to a stronger backline that can withhold more pressure. Tobias Figueiredo and Danny Fox have been excellent but the two holding midfielders in Watson and Colback have been equally as impressive. At the same time, we are taking chances at the other end which is certainly a good combination for getting results.
2) Cash hitting the goal trail
With two goals in two games, Matty`s confidence is sky high, and he could have had even more, after another effort hit the post. The 20 year old looks to have kicked on under the new manager, with greater confidence in his shooting and his all round game.
I should mention Tendayi Darikwa too who had a solid game at right back, showing that our younger players are stepping up to the mark. No doubt, the signing of more experienced players like Lee Tomlin and captain Ben Watson have helped these youngsters come out of their shell a bit more, and play with a bit more freedom.
3) An assured presence between the sticks
Costel Pantilimon`s selection ahead of Jordan Smith has proved the correct decision by Karanka. He didn`t have that much to do against Birmingham, but like in previous games, he has done what has been asked of him well.
Having a stable and assured presence in goal can be very important for the defence, and the Romanian`s experience has certainly helped the budding partnership at centre half between Fox and Figueiredo to get off the ground in recent matches. An extended look between now and the end of the season should be sufficient to see whether we should sign the 31 year old from Watford on a permanent basis.