January will be a big month for us, says Bristol City boss Derek McInnes
DEREK McInnes admits Bristol City will never get out of trouble while they continue to ship goals at a rate of two per game.
And City's manager says he now has no choice but to seek a lasting solution to the problem in the transfer market following Saturday's 2-0 home defeat to Derby County.
Fourth from bottom of the table, the Robins have conceded 45 times in 22 games this season, more than any other side in the npower Championship.
More poor defending handed the Rams all three points at Ashton Gate and McInnes, fast running out of patience, knows he must wheel and deal to strengthen his back four when the January window opens in a little under two weeks.
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He said: "I feel as though we have tried different formations and different personnel in the back four and, through injury and through choice, we have picked what we have felt was the best back four for the day.
"It's not just the defence, but, if you are good at defending the box as centre-halves want to be, then you should be dealing with the type of goals we conceded.
"I'm not going to sit back and watch this every week. I feel we've tried our best to protect the back four, but it is difficult when you lose the goals that we've lost.
"January is going to be a big month for us and how active we will be will depend on the next few results.
"Certainly, I feel the frustration that everybody feels when we lose the kind of goals we lost today.
"I'm looking to bring in a few in January if I can but, for that to happen, a few boys will need to be leaving as well. I'm well aware of the restraints we have, but the owner and the board have always been very supportive.
"If the deal is there and they think it is the right one, they have not been slow to make it happen."
Derby midfielders Jeff Hendrick and Craig Bryson took advantage of City's inability to defend against crosses played into their own penalty area to score twice in three minutes, while the home side squandered their best opportunities in front of goal.
McInnes said: "It's difficult to watch us pass up good opportunities and then concede two poor goals in a three-minute spell.
"We went 4-4-2 to try to ask questions of them, but Derby's extra man in midfield caused us problems. But regardless of formation, we should still deal with the two crosses that came into our box.
"We'll never get ourselves away from trouble unless we start dealing with that side of it. A lot has been said about formations over the last few weeks – I agree with a lot of it, I don't agree with most of it – but we still have to defend better.
"That is where the biggest Achilles heel for our team lies at the minute."
He added: "We've created more and better chances than Derby and failed to take them. We need to be more clinical and we weren't.
"We played with the two strikers that everybody has been going on about and, when you do that, you need to take your chances.
"We had chances and Liam Fontaine should have scored from a header two yards out and Sam Baldock also had a real opportunity to beat the keeper and score."