Birmingham City earned an impressive 0-0 draw at Luton Town on Saturday to get their campaign up and running.
John Eustace’s men had to dig in, be patient and stand firm to take a point away from Kenilworth Road, with the Hatters coming closest to breaking the deadlock.
The Blues still seem set for a long and hard season, but they will have taken confidence from picking up a point against Nathan Jones’ men who finished sixth last season.
Kenilworth Road was one of the hardest grounds to go to last term, and even though Birmingham won 5-0 there last season, they were large outsiders for the game.
Here, we have taken a look at three things we learnt from the goalless draw…
Set pieces to be key
The Blues were not able to create a lot from open play, and their shots from closest to the goal were headers from corners from Marc Roberts and Auston Trusty.
Juninho Bacuna appeared to be the biggest spark for the Blues, getting in behind and into some dangerous areas, but most of his efforts were a little speculative in the end.
If the Blues can be organised defensively and excel at dead ball situations, they will stay in games and could pick up the points required to keep them in the league.
Shoot on sight
Possibly out of desperation as Luton stood firm, the Blues resorted to a large amount of shots from outside the area, when they may have been better-advised to build the attack a little more.
Jordan James, Maxime Colin, Bacuna and Przemyslaw Placheta all chanced their luck from range but were unable to trouble Ethan Horvath.
This may have been an instruction from Eustace and something that could crop up more as the sample size grows under his management.
Quiz: Can you remember the score the last time Birmingham City played at these 26 stadiums?
Przemyslaw Placheta a competent wing back
James Bree against Placheta may have been an area of the pitch that Jones had identified as an individual battle where they could have had some joy.
However, the Norwich City loanee applied himself very well on debut and also popped up in some dangerous attacking areas.
The Blues have been without a specialist left wing back for some time, despite sticking with three at the back, and Placheta should have the chance to nail down a starting berth there, to showcase his skillset to his parent club.