Bristol City players can't let nerves get to them, says McInnes
Bristol City boss Derek McInnes wants his players to banish the fear factor when they take on Charlton Athletic at Ashton Gate on Sunday.
With the Robins one place off the foot of the Championship table following a run of six straight defeats, there is plenty to be apprehensive about.
But McInnes will remind his charges to play the match rather than the situation ahead of a game that assumes added significance in light of recent results.
McInnes acknowledged: "We are well aware that there is a real importance to this game.
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"But we must not fear it and I think it is important the players relish the chance to play.
"There cannot be any apprehension and they need to take the game on.
"We cannot deny that the run we are on is extremely disappointing, but they have to play the game rather than the situation.
"Nerves and apprehension are for everybody else. As professionals, we have to just do the job without the emotion of it all affecting what we do on the pitch."
A six-match losing sequence represents previously uncharted territory for McInnes during his time as a manager, but he stands by his methods and remains confident he can improve fortunes on the pitch.
He added: "For me, it's a case of sticking to what you do and I have a way of working that has served me well as a player and as a manager.
"You never get too high when you get the back-slapping after a good result, because you are never as good as people think you are when things are going well.
"At the same time, you should not question yourself too much when things are not going so well.
"There are always things you can do differently in terms of selection and substitutes and they are analysed more when you are losing. That is the same for every manager.
"But in terms of day to day working and doing the hours and the job, I have every faith in my way of working.
"I'm a confident person anyway and I trust the players. I have a trust in the way we work and the way we prepare.
"My job is to make the players feel important and give them the support they need."
Meanwhile, McInnes has received good news regarding the injury suffered by Stephen McManus at Birmingham on Tuesday.
The centre-back was taken off with suspected cruciate ligament damage, but a hospital scan has since revealed the problem is less serious than first feared and he could be back in action in six weeks.
On loan from Middlesbrough, McManus will undergo his rehabilitation in Bristol.
Midfielder Cole Skuse sustained a fractured cheekbone in the same game and requires an operation to insert a metal plate in his face. He will also be out for around six weeks.
McInnes will again be forced to make a change to his back four this weekend and Louis Carey and James Wilson have recovered from injury and are competing to partner Liam Fontaine in the centre of defence.