Sven Goran Eriksson has admitted Manchester City are about to head into the unknown after being hit with a number of injuries.
The former England manager has enjoyed a successful start to his life as Blues boss, steering them into a top five position for much of the campaign.
Since taking over as manager for the start of this season, Eriksson has urged caution and insists that he will know how good his team is once they have come through their first run of injuries.
Currently Eriksson is without Bulgarian striker Valeri Bojinov and defender Nedum Onuoha, and possibly first team regulars Elano and Emile Mpenza.
The growing list of injuries has come at a time when City are preparing for a busy Christmas period that includes games away at Tottenham and Aston Villa.
Eriksson believes the run of games will reveal plenty about how the team will fair at the end of the campaign.
"This period is an excellent one to see how good we are," he said.
"We have a lot of people at the club who are not used to playing so many games over Christmas and that is going to be a big test.
"Football is strange. Four or five months ago, everyone would have accepted a place in the top 10. Today is different.
"Maybe we feel different as well and feel as though we have the opportunity to do better. But let's see how we go on over the next few games and look at it after Christmas and the New Year."
Eriksson hopes his side can retain their current league position to attract high profile players when the transfer window opens in January.
Brazilian striker Adriano along with England's Michael Owen and Peter Crouch are all rumoured to be on Eriksson's wish-list, but his priority is maintaining their position.
"The progress we have made is excellent," he added. "But if you want a big player to join you, first of all they will look at where we are in the table and what is the chance of playing European football.
"That is important for them. They want to be on that stage. It is not enough for the biggest players just to play in the league. They want Europe as well."