IF player of the season was voted for now, it would be putting it mildly to suggest that Matt Gilks would be one of the frontrunners.
Gilks has been superb, making vital saves in every game.
Everybody, including manager Ian Holloway, feared the keeper would not sign a new contract last summer and go elsewhere.
But everyone else’s loss is Blackpool’s gain, for Gilks has been outstanding ever since the opening night at Hull and, back after a five-game lay-off with a groin tear, he is excited about what can be achieved this year.
The 29-year-old said: “We talk in the dressing room and a lot of us believe we can get automatic promotion, never mind the play-offs.
“For starters, the pressure of the play-offs the other year was more than enough for a lifetime for me!
“But looking at Southampton, they seem to be on a bit of a slide and I think we will catch them.
“We have a good run of games coming up, and without wanting to sound cocky I just can’t see where we are going to get beaten.
“The quality we have is terrific, and we are learning and getting better every day. So it is all very positive and everyone has a good outlook. We are very confident.”
That said, Gilks does add a rider. “It’s all very well talking like this, but the Championship is such a strong league,” he added.
“In the Premier League, you have your top four or five that stand out; in the Championship, anybody can beat anybody.
“It all comes down to what happens on a certain day and anything can.
“One of the best teams I’ve seen this year were Peterborough, when they came to our place. I thought their passing was exceptional but they aren’t exactly flying high, so it shows how hard every game is, no matter who the opposition are.
“It is definitely a harder division than last time we were in it, which is why, for all the talent we have in our squad, we need to keep our eye on the ball and make sure we continue to pick up points on a regular basis.”
Gilks will have to earn his corn tomorrow. Cardiff have scored more goals at home than any other team in the top half of table, apart from table-toppers West Ham.