Mark Hughes revealed that his side has surpassed the target he set for it after seven games of the embryonic season.
A draw at Villa Park hoisted the Blues back into fourth spot in the Premier League table and left the manager purring at the new qualities his men keep pulling out of the bag.
City were a goal behind at half time for the first time this season thanks to a towering header by old boy Richard Dunne but Craig Bellamy earned a point with his fourth goal of the season to leave the manager a happy man going into the international break.
“I thought that once we got back on level terms we could have gone on and won the game but in the end it was a good point for us against a good side,” he declared.
“We are pleased with our return at this stage of the season. We were looking to get a certain amount of points at this stage and we have surpassed it. Now we have to cross fingers and cross toes and hope everyone comes back fit and well from international duty.
We asked plenty of questions of Villa in the second half and we were committed to going forward but things didn’t quite break for us and we didn’t have the clear cut chance to settle the game.
“Overall we have got to be pleased with the point because this is a difficult place to come. We stood up to the challenge of falling behind and stood up to it well. There were more good qualities shown though it was disappointing to concede from a set play. I suppose it was written that it would be Dunney who scored it!”
“We needed to be more dynamic in the second half and up the intensity in order to create space and we did that.”
Hughes revealed that the draw came at a price with Nigel de Jong, Roque Santa Cruz, Pablo Zabaleta, and Kolo Toure making a long list of walking wounded.
“We lost Nigel to an ankle injury just after half time. He was struggling at the break but he wanted to give it a go,” confirmed the manager. “Thankfully Stevie Ireland came on and showed his quality almost immediately.
“Manu was a bit rusty after his lay off and there were a few like that. Roque got a Craig Bellamy finger in his eye almost immediately and was struggling. Almost all the time he was out there he was working with one eye. Carlos Tevez is still coming up to speed. There were a few walking wounded out there. Kolo will have to have a scan on his heel, he has had a real bang on it and Pablo has, we think, tweaked his hamstring in the last minute of the game and the likelihood is that we could be missing him for couple of weeks.”