BLEARY-eyed from celebrating the New Year, we made our way down to the Macron for the first game of 2018.

The Doombar deliberations were quite upbeat after the shock of winning at Bramall Lane on Saturday.

Could we get back-to-back victories for the first time this season against a team who had thumped us 4-0 back in August?

Would Phil Parkinson stick with the 3-5-2 and the players he brought in or would he save that formation for away days? Hopes were high we could win and go above Nigel Adkins’s Tigers in the Championship.

When the team was announced, it was clear Parkinson had gone back to his trusted 4-5-1-1 and his favoured players.

We started well and deservedly went one up when Goal Machine Gary Madine added another string to his bow and scored with a great curling free kick.

He seems to be learning a new trick every match. We were comfortably in control but our players were going down like ninepins, with both Karl Henry and Darren Pratley limping off midway through the first half.

Josh Cullen and Filipe Morais joined the fray and kept the momentum going.

In the second half, we had several chances to wrap the match up before surviving a mini-siege towards the end.

But we hung on for a hard-earned victory, three points and a move up the championship to the dizzy heights of 20th place.

A job well done and a great way to start the new year.

We just need another 20 performances like this one.

Nine points from five games over the festive period is a good tally, and a similar return from the remaining matches will see us safe.

But football is a strange game at times. Just when you think things are getting better, something happens to kick you in the teeth.

It is generally conceded that the Championship is the most difficult league in Europe to predict results in.

The January transfer window could affect any team in the Championship as the poorly performing Premier vultures hover round the good championship players seeking salvation.

We do not seem to be in a strong enough financial position to do much business or defend any reasonable bids for our players.

But I’m willing to be surprised if chairman Ken Anderson can conjure up anything positive to bolster the club’s fortunes. Survival is on.