Bristol City fan’s view with Matthew Withers
AFTER back-to-back wins and a massive improvement in performance, it was a little disappointing for the team not to get anything away at Blackburn Rovers.
Unfortunately, Blackburn’s prolific striker Jordan Rhodes was the real difference between the two sides. The new manager was forced into a change recalling Marvin Elliott for the injured Cole Skuse.
It says something that City at least competed with Blackburn, something that they failed to do only four weeks previous in the FA Cup defeat.
It’s hard to believe the impact that Sean O’Driscoll has had on the dressing room and, most importantly, how that has transmitted itself to performances on the pitch.
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Tuesday night’s game against Watford was a case in point. Watford are for me the best footballing side that I have seen at Ashton Gate in a couple of seasons. They played the ball on the ground and with pace and yet, despite their possession and the impressive nature of their play, City always looked solid and in control.
The team were extremely well-organised and we had strong banks of four with every player understanding his job.
O’Driscoll’s principles of attacking as a team and defending as a team were clear to see and City fully deserved their win and also the clean sheet, something that I thought would never happen again.
The back four were particularly impressive and it’s no coincidence that the upturn in performance has coincided with the return of Louis Carey. Louis eats, sleeps and breathes Bristol City Football Club and his influence on the back four cannot be underestimated. It was the same last season and we can only hope that the knock that he took on Saturday is not too serious and doesn’t force him to sit out next week’s game against Nottingham Forest.
The transfer window closed without much noise at Ashton Gate. Thankfully, Albert Adomah’s services have been retained and I’m sure the popular winger will have an important part to play in City’s battle to stay in the Championship. The window saw Jody Morris leave City, which was no surprise. I was also not surprised that the manager did not recruit any permanent signings. It is difficult to attract players in our predicament and paying over the odds at this time of year is always a gamble. That said, the side do need reinforcements. We still need a commanding centre-half and, I also think, we need a midfielder and a target man, following the injury to Ryan Taylor.
I hope that the new manager can use his contacts in the game to get the right sort of players in. The addition of Brendan Moloney has been a good one and I’m sure there are other players out there who would improve the side and could just be the difference between surviving and not. Unfortunately, our upturn in results has happened at the same time as teams around us improving. Barnsley are on a great run and Ipswich Town and Sheffield Wednesday are also picking up points.
Our home form is going to be crucial in our battle and we have to turn out in numbers and cheer the boys on against O’Driscoll’s former club Nottingham Forest.