Bristol City: Derek McInnes hails 'total determination' in draw against West Ham
DEREK McInnes hailed his team's "total determination" after seeing Bristol City hold West Ham United to a 1-1 draw at Ashton Gate.
It was a good night for City, who moved five points clear of Coventry and Portsmouth. The Sky Blues lost 1-0 at home to Millwall, a result which means City will be safe if they beat Barnsley at home on Saturday.
The Robins are now two points behind Barnsley and Nottingham Forest, who lost at Hull and Reading respectively, and in a position to finish comfortably clear of the drop zone.
But West Ham are now almost certain to be in the play-offs after losing further ground on Reading and Southampton.
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They led last night through a James Tomkins header, but were pegged back by a Cole Skuse drive four minutes later.
Now unbeaten in their last six games, City have rediscovered their form and belief at just the right time.
"It was a proper, good hard-working team performance," said McInnes. "It had to be against a team that is full of Premier League experience and going for promotion.
"There are not many sides that play with fluency against West Ham and you have to do the ugly side of the game well.
"West Ham are a big side – they know how to win games and they ask questions of you. You have to stand up to them and we did that.
"We showed enough of the right qualities to get a point and we more than earned it.
"I was not expecting it to be pretty, I was not expecting it to be expansive and I was expecting it to be a bit naughty at times."
McInnes, pictured, admitted: "West Ham imposed themselves on the game, tried to win it early and deserved to go in front.
"I was disappointed in our start and all the things I hoped would not happen, in terms of conceding free-kicks, not going in behind and not competing in the middle of the park, happened in the first 25 minutes.
"It took our goal to give us that vigour we had been lacking and the confidence we needed to compete.
"Skuse showed what it was we had not been doing and he got there because of his determination. We were second best up until the goal, but then I thought we gained in belief and I was pleased with the performance thereafter.
"The only way West Ham opened us up was from set plays and we did not deal with those as well as we should have done."
Skuse said of his goal: "I suppose the keeper (Robert Green) could have done better, but I was just glad to see it go in.
"The goal came at the right time for us, because we were off the pace up until then."