Paul Anderson urges Bristol City fans to play their part at Christmas
Paul Anderson is urging Bristol City fans to get behind the team at Ashton Gate this week.
BS3 has hardly been the happiest of hunting grounds this season and the \Robins have not won a home game in nine attempts since August 25.
But they have an opportunity to put right that particular record of under-achievement when Watford visit on Boxing Day.
Fellow Championship strugglers Peterborough United head west on Saturday and winger Anderson insists the Ashton Gate crowd has a crucial part to play as City bid to move out of the relegation zone.
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City's players have succumbed to tension and anxiety in recent home games and Anderson acknowledged: "We have played really well and had some good results away from home, because there is a bit less pressure on the lads.
"But we know we need to start winning at home if we are going to get out of trouble and this is a big, big week for us.
"I've been at all the home games and the fans have been fantastic this season.
"We've been having a bit of a struggle and they have remained very supportive.
"Hopefully, they will realise how hard we are working over the Christmas period and get behind us.
"I know we've not been playing great football at home, but a little bit of support will be brilliant for us.
"Let's face it, that twelfth man that everyone always talks about is much needed."
City go into the Watford game just one place off the foot of the table and Anderson admitted: "We're in a bit of a battle and all the teams around us had positive results on Saturday.
"We know we need to string some results together to take us away from the bottom three and, in that respect, every game is important."
Anderson made his full Championship debut for City at Ipswich on Saturday – five months after he moved to Ashton Gate from Nottingham Forest.
Having finally broken into the team, he is determined to retain his place when manager Derek McInnes names his starting line-up to face Watford.
He revealed: "I only really knew I was playing the night before the game. But I was hopeful after what happened in the training the week before.
"We did a bit of work with formations at the start of the week and I was schemed into the team for that and again when we worked on the same thing on Thursday. I thought: 'oh, I may have a chance here' and, when we did a team talk on Friday, I was fortunate enough to be involved in it."
Asked to support lone striker Jon Stead, Anderson worked extremely hard and contributed impressively to an improved attacking performance at Portman Road.
Regardless of whether McInnes retains the 5-4-1 system deployed against Ipswich or returns to a more conventional 4-4-2 formation, Anderson believes he has done enough to warrant being involved against Watford.
He reasoned: "I thought I did pretty well. I felt fine and was ready to play the full 90 minutes. I'm lucky that I'm naturally quite fit and I felt sharp.
"Hopefully, I've done enough to keep myself in front of the gaffer.
"I think I've worked hard in training, played well in the games I've been asked to play and been more professional than ever before.
"It's frustrating for any player when he does not play and, hopefully, I've done enough to be on that team-sheet on Boxing Day."