CARDIFF are back in front of the Sky cameras this Friday when they travel to strugglers Birmingham as they look to protect top spot from the chasing pack.
The league-leaders have enjoyed an excellent campaign so far, becoming only of only three Championship clubs to lose just one game.
That one defeat arrived in a sobering away thrashing to Preston but it was quickly righted by Neil Warnock and his men with big wins over Sunderland and early high-flyers Leeds.
And those big results mean Cardiff fans have begun to dream of a Premier League return, despite the premature stage in which the Championship remains.
Warnock continues to do his best to keep feet on the ground, but two three-goal home wins over Aston Villa and Leeds respectively have done little to help in that department.
But Warnock can only do so much in taming the supporters’ emotions and the dream for promotion is a stark change from this time last season.
Last time around, there were fears of relegation surrounding South Wales – in the East and the West.
Just 11 games in, Cardiff fans know it’s too early to get carried away – they aren’t fools – this is a club that has missed out on promotion in every way you can possibly think of.
Play-off final defeat, play-off semi-final defeat, missing out on the play-offs by a single goal scored and every other scenario…
Going a good few years back, Cardiff found themselves in a similar position, before hardly winning the game throughout the winter, leaving them in the bottom-half for much of the late stages.
So the Bluebirds’ faithful know what to expect from this league and they know it will take a lot to lead the league for another 35 games, though, Cardiff have done that before, too.
The squad isn’t particularly fantastic on paper, you haven’t got a John Terry or a Britt Assombalonga, but nor do you necessarily need either of those – just as Huddersfield.
Crucially, what Cardiff do have is strength in depth and looking at the squad, you could comfortably pick two full starting XI’s that could win a Championship match.
The team certainly has it’s key players, like any other, but it’s that depth that they’ve been missing in the past and it could well prove to be the decisive factor.
And let’s not forget, the Bluebirds have Warnock in charge – king of the Championship – a man who has won seven promotions during his lasting career, and he’s personally motivated to secure that record-breaking eighth.
He’s a man who has been here before and that also provides plenty of belief for supporters of a blue persuasion in South Wales.
Warnock’s experience has already shown its colours this season.
The early signings – seven of which were done before pre-season – has proven vital, especially when compared to Harry Redknapp’s last-minute scramble for players at Birmingham.
And also the quality of the signings, with Mendez-Laing, an absolute revelation, joining for free, and you’ve also got last season’s free signing Junior Hoilett and Sol Bamba who are both a massive part of the team.
Even Craig Bryson, who joined on loan in the final hour, has proved to be a very good signing.
He’s added to the quality the Bluebirds have in midfield with the likes of Aron Gunnarsson, who has just captained Iceland to their first-ever World Cup.
There’s been plenty of talk surrounding Kenneth Zohore, especially with Everton and Co sniffing around in the transfer window, and he has started the season modestly.
Zohore has only managed three league goals so far during this campaign, but he certainly does a lot for the team, even when he’s not getting the goals.
Cardiff were massively reliant on Zohore towards the end of last season.
But there’s been a shift on that front, and while they certainly wouldn’t want to lose him in January, there’s now a feeling that the team is strong enough all over to cope.
If he did go, it would be a big blow and there’s no doubting that.
But again it’s back to that belief in an experienced manager like Warnock and that comfort of mind that fans have, knowing that a suitable replacement would be sourced.
However, make no mistake, the club don’t need to sell Zohore and it’s unlikely he will be departing South Wales this winter.
As for the league form, will Cardiff be departing the top of the table? It wouldn’t be a surprise to seem them do so, especially given the quality of the sides in the league and the money they have spent.
However, you just never know in the Championship and Warnock has previously said he just wants to be amongst it until the end of October.
Then he will know his team are good enough to have a real go at it.
They have a great chance of doing that and they already have a five-point gap over seventh place.
While that’s not much at all, it breeds confidence and releases the pressure, especially when the objective is top six.
It’s a long season and expect real movement in the Championship table between now and May.
But Cardiff do have a real shot of finishing anywhere in that top six, and with Warnock in charge, would you really bet against that?