"Bristol City have what it takes to turn season around": Jon Stead
Jon Stead insists he and his team-mates must “get on with it” and “stop making excuses” if Bristol City are to turn their season around.
Second from bottom of the Championship and without a win in seven games dating back to September 18, the Robins will attempt to stop the rot at newly-promoted Huddersfield Town tomorrow.
Lifelong Huddersfield fan Stead believes now is the time for City to invoke the courage and spirit than enabled them to stave off the threat of relegation towards the end of last season.
Deep in trouble in mid-March, City put together an eight-match unbeaten run to retain their second-tier status and Stead said: “This is similar to the situation we found ourselves in at the end of last season.
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“This is the time to roll our sleeves up, get on with it and stop making excuses.
“We have to deal with the situation and show we have what it takes to get us out of it. We did it last season and we can do it again now. We just need to show the same mentality.
“Things are always broken down into more detail and analysed when they go wrong but, as far as I’m concerned, we just need to get back to what we were doing at the start of the season and things will turn.”
A ball boy at the John Smith’s Stadium when it was first opened, Stead graduated from the youth set-up to play first-team football for his home-town club.
Yet he is adamant he will not hesitate if afforded an opportunity to score and secure victory for City this weekend.
He said: “There will be no loyalty (to Huddersfield) on my part, once I’m on that pitch.
“I’ve supported them since I was a kid and I went through their whole system, which was a dream come true.
“But my allegiance is to whomever I am playing for and that has always been the case.
“I’ve been with enough clubs now to understand that you give everything for the club you are playing for.
“My entire family are Huddersfield supporters and I’m sure I’ll upset a few if we win. But I’ll deal with that if and when it happens.
“Nobody wants to be associated with a losing team and I’ll be more than happy if we can put one over on them.”
City are yet to keep a clean sheet in 14 games in all competitions this season and manager Derek McInnes wants his players to show more backbone.
He said: “We are suffering from a bit of naivety at the moment and we have to make sure we have a far stiffer backbone to stop the opposition from being given opportunities to score goals.
“We need to be really tough opposition while still carrying a threat and that means being more dogged in our work against the ball.
“We have to knock the opposition out of their stride, even if that takes a bit away from us.”
“When you are on a run like we are, it is important the players remember what it is they are good at. They are certainly good enough to win games in this league, but they have to believe that and work hard for one another.”
James Wilson has joined fellow centre-backs Liam Fontaine and Louis Carey on the sidelines after failing to recover from a stiff neck and back.
But Marvin Elliott and Neil Kilkenny are back in training after recovering from long-term injury and both are expected to travel.