Jon Stead backs Bristol City to pull off another Championship great escape
Jon Stead insists Bristol City have what it takes to win when the pressure is on and repeat last season’s great escape.
Threatened by relegation for a second year in succession, the Robins are currently one place off the foot of the table and fighting for npower Championship survival.
But last weekend’s stirring 5-3 victory over fellow strugglers Barnsley in what Stead acknowledges was a proverbial “six-pointer” suggests City possess the strength of character to retain their second tier status.
Stead and Co staged a revitalising eight-match unbeaten run at the end of last season, beating fellow strugglers Coventry, Nottingham Forest and Barnsley to stave off the threat of relegation, and now have 12 games to achieve something similar.
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City find themselves in an even more parlous situation this time around, but striker Stead is adamant the experience gained in 2012 will help the class of 2013 escape the drop.
He said: “I think we have to draw from what happened last season. Certainly, it would have been a different situation had things not improved for us in March and April.
“We can definitely take the positives from that and apply them to our current situation.
“We’ve done it before, so why shouldn’t we do it again? But we don’t want this to be happening season in, season out. We need to pull out of this cycle.”
Stead scored twice as City beat Barnsley to climb above Peterborough and move to within three points of safety.
The former Blackburn, Sunderland and Ipswich forward made no attempt to play down the significance of that game prior to kick-off, describing it as a “must-win” contest.
And Stead and his team-mates responded to pressure in the right way, achieving a deserved victory when it was needed most.
He admitted: “Everyone thought it was a must-win game, but sometimes people are a bit afraid to actually say it.
“There was no getting away from the fact, we needed to win the game. People can say it was just another game, but it was a massive three points for us.
“It was the same when we had our backs against the wall last season – when we really had to win games, we did, and it was the same on Saturday.
“Playing Barnsley was massive and I knew how big it was for us. I’m just pleased we managed to put in a performance and win when it really mattered.”