Bristol City boss Derek McInnes rues poor defending after defeat by Burnley
FRUSTRATED Bristol City boss Derek McInnes admitted his team's poor defensive record is threatening to undermine their Championship season.
Again, the Robins scored three goals at home only to end up empty-handed after Chris McCann headed an injury-time winner to give Burnley a remarkable 4-3 win at Ashton Gate.
To lose the game after staging a notable fightback to level matters at 3-3 in the 90th minute, defeat was hard to take.
City have now conceded 26 goals in 12 games and this latest defeat leaves them perilously close to the relegation zone.
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McInnes said: "The time has come to stop conceding goals like we are, because it is threatening to undermine everything going forward.
"We should be stood here talking about a fantastic fightback and three good goals.
"We should be talking about the immense courage shown by the players to get themselves back in the game.
"We were not always good and there were mistakes made, but we kept our heads, kept battling and never gave up the ghost.
"Instead, we are talking about losing a last-minute goal and that is disappointing.
"The players deserve immense credit for getting back level, but, at the same time, we cannot afford to defend like that against a last-minute free-kick.
"For all the positives, it is really disappointing when you concede a last-minute goal."
Steven Davies equalised Charlie Austin's early strike with a superb free-kick goal and the Robins were the better side in the first half.
Austin restored Burnley's lead from the penalty spot in the 59th minute and Martin Paterson appeared to have made sure of the points when he netted two minutes later.
But City came roaring back as Sam Baldock converted a 77th-minute penalty and substitute Paul Anderson then grabbed a dramatic late equaliser.
Just when it seemed the Robins were going to salvage a valuable point, their defence parted once more to allow McCann to head the winner for Burnley from a Kieran Trippier free-kick.
McInnes said: "I felt the free-kick was soft and we were a wee bit light at set-pieces after losing Stephen Pearson in the warm-up and being without Marvin Elliott.
"We had detailed Pearson to pick up McCann and we were always up against it from set-pieces.
"In the main, we dealt with it well. Then, just as we had to deal with it one last time, we gave them a free header and they have punished us for that."
City have taken just two points from their last six Championship games and McInnes must now lift his crestfallen players ahead of Saturday's home game against Hull.
He said: "With each passing game, a home win becomes more important.
"We have to keep going and it is my job to put confidence back into the players.
"I can assure the fans that we will continue to work hard to improve."
To add to City's mounting problems, skipper and centre-back Liam Fontaine limped off with a pulled calf muscle early in the second half and is now doubtful for the Hull game.