PREVIEW: Birmingham City vs Bristol City
BRISTOL City's detractors may disagree, but goalkeeper Dean Gerken is convinced the Robins have what it takes to effect a turnaround in fortunes at St Andrews tonight.
On the face of it, a trip to Birmingham represents a potentially hazardous assignment for players who are understandably lacking in confidence after suffering five successive defeats.
But goalkeeper Gerken insists Saturday's improved defensive display against Huddersfield should be interpreted as the commencement of a concerted upturn in fortunes.
City may have lost 1-0 in Yorkshire, yet they demonstrated many of the qualities that will be required if they are to extract themselves from the Championship relegation zone in the near future. So much so, that Gerken believes a change in fortunes is imminent.
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No stranger to adversity after helping the Robins avoid the drop last season, Gerken, pictured, said: "We've got it in the dressing room and things WILL change.
"I have belief in the team, the manager has belief in the team and the team has belief in the manager.
"It's still early in the season and it is not crunch time yet.
"But everybody needs to get their finger out and start doing the things they are good at.
"We know we can do it, because we were in a similar position last season and got out of it."
Selected ahead of Tom Heaton for the first time this season, Gerken had little to do behind a well-organised defence on Saturday.
He added: "I know we didn't get the result we wanted, but we did get an improved performance and we can take that to Birmingham.
"I've not been playing behind the defence for most of the season, but it looked solid to me and I thought we defended well apart from the goal we conceded. I had minimal shots to deal with and it was just a case of tidying up. I felt comfortable.
"It sounds strange because we have lost again, but we go to Birmingham with real belief against a team that do not seem too keen on playing at home.
"The Huddersfield game was the most solid we have looked for three or four weeks and we can take positives from that.
"If we can be solid as a team, then it gives us a much better chance to get the three points."
Gerken has again had to be patient this season.
Having finally seen off former England number one David James and contributed mightily to City's great escape at the end of last season, the ex-Colchester man could have been forgiven for believing his time had come, only to then play second fiddle to Heaton.
Back in the starting line-up and desperate to retain his place at St Andrews, Gerken admitted: "Every footballer wants to play football and it has not been easy.
"Watching games from the bench is horrible.
"You still prepare during the week as though you are going to play and, when your name is not on that team-sheet, it makes Saturday the worst day.
"But it is a team game and I have to be there for Tom when he is playing and he does the same for me.
"I understand how Tom feels and I know it must have been a difficult one for the manager. Tom has looked pretty solid despite the goals he has been conceding.
"Unfortunately, the defence and midfield have been leaking goals from a number of positions and, when that happens, it is the goalkeeper who usually takes the rap."