Mark Hughes reflected following the Fulham victory on the importance of our new found success from set pieces:
"We have not done badly this season - in the early part of last year we did not look a threat from set plays. In games so far we look like a team that can now.The 2009/10 season is in its early stages of course, but there is no doubting that we have got off to an impressive start thus far, recording six wins out of seven Premier League and Carling Cup games thus far, recording six wins from our seven Premier League and Carling Cup games so far.
"We have told the players where we want the ball delivered and how they need to be a bit more dynamic in the box and make sure they get first contact.
"Invariably if you get that first contact something happens for you. That is what we have tried to emphasise to the players."
Equally impressive is that these victories have come without fully realising the undoubted potential (small glimpses aside) that the newly assembled side looks to be capable of. Central to this has not only been the ability to grind out these wins but the importance of goals from set pieces in doing so in tight games, where you are struggling to carve out (or take) clear cut opportunities.
This was evidenced of course against Fulham where both the equaliser and winner came from headers from corner-kicks, something that we are certainly not used to in recent memory and of course without them, could well have seen us exit the competition.
So far this season we have scored 16 goals, with six of these coming from headers as a result of set pieces.
Early days of course, but it does appear that for all the newly acquired flair and skill, there is a tough edge to this side which is resulting in us being able to graft out goals when required - and long time watchers of football will know that more often that not these can end up being the most important goals you score.