Bristol City boss Derek McInnes thrilled by first victory in 11 games
DEREK McInnes believes his Bristol City players have finally turned the corner in their quest to escape the Championship relegation zone.
Against all the odds, the Robins beat promotion-chasing Middlesbrough 3-1 in the North East at the weekend to register their first win in 12 games and move out of the bottom three.
A positive performance and result following hard on the heels of a hard-earned 1-1 home draw with Blackpool offers conclusive proof that City have now emerged from the slump that saw them suffer seven straight defeats between the end of September and early November.
Under pressure after seeing his team lose 2-0 to Charlton at Ashton Gate a fortnight ago, McInnes described that game as a "watershed moment".
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
He said: "In our desperation to win against Charlton, I probably picked the wrong team.
"We tried to take the game to them and were too open.
"That was a watershed moment for me. I felt we needed to be more solid and to keep the ball and that is what happened against Blackpool.
"It has been tough and I cannot hide that.
"It has not been nice, because we are all in the game to win.
"I've been saying for weeks now that things can change very quickly and I have been reminding the players of how good they are and constantly reinforcing that.
"I always knew they were capable of doing better and they proved that by beating Middlesbrough."
Having tasted victory for the first time since Peterborough were beaten at London Road on September 18, McInnes insisted it is important his players believe in themselves ahead of what promises to be another demanding challenge when they visit Brighton tomorrow night.
He said: "We've got that feeling of winning back and we now need to keep that with us. We still don't have the clean sheet we all want, but at least we now have the result.
"We showed a lot of confidence on the ball and it is important we keep that going into the Brighton game.
"The players have to have the belief that they can win a game, regardless of who they are up against.
"It's good to get on a run and go two games unbeaten. Now we have to build on that going into the next game and try to go on the kind of run I know we are capable of."
Albert Adomah scored for the first time since September to give City the lead at the Riverside, only for Ishmael Miller to level matters shortly before half-time. But that setback only made the Robins more determined and further goals from Stephen Pearson and substitute Steven Davies after the break sealed a thoroughly-deserved success.
McInnes's decision to field a five-man midfield proved the correct one and City, with Neil Danns, Marvin Elliott and Neil Kilkenny to the fore, controlled the game for long periods.
McInnes said: "I felt we could control the midfield by having the extra man in there. It was a properly controlled performance and we were very rarely stretched by a team that likes to stretch and play an open game.
I thought we pushed them into areas they did not want to go and, when they started playing long diagonal balls, I knew we had them.
"We showed confidence and guile on the ball to create chances and I thought the energy of Danns and Elliott enabled Kilkenny to orchestrate it all.
"Scoring three goals on the road against a team like Middlesbrough is very pleasing, indeed."