Bristol City's misery compounded by serious injuries to two players
BRISTOL City's increasingly desperate season reached a new low last night with defeat at Birmingham.
Beaten 2-0 at St Andrews, the Robins slumped to a sixth straight defeat and remain firmly rooted in the npower Championship relegation zone with a third of the campaign gone.
To make matters worse for under-pressure manager Derek McInnes, pictured, he lost a further two players to long-term injury.
Already missing left-back Greg Cunningham, centre-back Louis Carey and top-scorer Steven Davies, City will now have to make do without central defender Stephen McManus and midfielder Cole Skuse for the foreseeable future.
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McManus could be out for the season after suffering a suspected ruptured cruciate ligament as City finished with ten men, while Skuse ended the night in hospital with a fractured cheekbone and eye socket sustained in a collision with Blues striker Nikola Zigic.
Yet to keep a clean sheet this season, City's defensive frailties returned to haunt them and second-half goals from Chris Burke and Marlon King were enough to earn Birmingham a first home win in five attempts.
Under growing pressure, City boss McInnes afterwards admitted his struggling side had been second best.
He said: "The first goal was always going to be crucial and it was a disappointing one to concede from our point of view.
"Neither side really settled in the game and it was a bit frantic. But Birmingham created the better opportunities and we never really got to grips with Zigic and King all night.
"We had that extra man in the middle of the park to try to keep the ball and get a bit of confidence back into the team, but it never really materialised. I don't want to hide behind the fact we've played the last ten or 15 minutes with ten men because of injuries. I expect better from us and I think the better team won on the night."
McInnes said: Cole (Skuse) looks like he has fractured his cheekbone up into his eye socket and, if that is the case, then he will be out for at least six weeks. We are pretty certain Stephen (McManus) has torn his cruciate, which is the worst injury for a footballer. If that is the case, then he will be out for the season."
City are four points adrift of safety and this latest defeat means Sunday's home game against Charlton assumes even greater importance.
McInnes said: "The fans deserve better and there is no hiding behind the fact that the better team won tonight. It is right to say that the next game is going to be crucial."