Bristol City fan's view with Matthew Withers
BLACKPOOL is never an easy place to go and our recent away record at Bloomfield Road has not been great. If you add to that the terrible state of the pitch, then all in all our first away clean sheet of the season was a decent result.
Unfortunately, Peterborough chose to blow hot on Saturday and their 3-2 victory away at Blackburn Rovers meant that. despite picking up a decent point, we ended the day bottom of the league.
While we are now bottom we have closed the gap on Barnsley and sit two points away from safety. If you add to that the return to fitness of Cole Skuse and Sam Baldock things are at least starting to look up. Like many City fans, I sincerely believe that it is our home form that will be the key to staying up this season and that is going to be severely tested this week with games against Brighton and Middlesbrough both of whom are looking to establish themselves in the play-off places.
The game against Blackpool was largely forgettable and it was a real 0-0 game with neither team able to stamp their authority on the game on a pitch that just does not allow football to be played. The defence was solid and the partnership of Lewin Nyatanga and Liam Fontaine is getting stronger, which can only bode well for the remainder of the season. Nyatanga is having to play on the right hand side of the centre of defence and has actually acquitted himself really well.
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The return to fitness of Sam Baldock is going to be massive for Sean O'Driscoll, if we can provide the quick striker with the right service then I am sure that he can get on the scoresheet regularly over the remaining games. City need to be positive against Brighton and Middlesbrough. As I say, I think it is our home form that is the key to our survival chances and that means going out and attacking. I would be tempted to recall Skuse for Marvin Elliott tomorrow night, as Cole is that little bit quicker in terms of attacking. I would keep the rest of the team the same.
We need to show a total desire against Brighton as Gus Poyett's team, are always up for the fight. If we can play at a high tempo and get at the Seagulls early on then the crowd will get behind the team and there is absolutely no reason why we cannot get all three points. If we can get a win on Tuesday that would really set us up for the visit of Middlesbrough on Saturday.
There will be lots of twists and turns over the coming couple of months, but we have to ensure that we are still in with a chance as the season reaches it's climax.
O'Driscoll has really backed this squad of players and they seem to be responding. Tom Heaton has hit a good vein of form and we are starting to see stronger performances from Kelly, Pearson and Elliott.