"There's no miracle cure for poor form": Bristol City boss
BRISTOL City boss Derek McInnes insists there is no miracle cure for his team's current woes.
Under growing pressure after presiding over a meagre return of two points from the last 21 available, McInnes is adamant hard work offers the only way out of the npower Championship relegation zone for players, who are suffering from an alarming loss of confidence.
Injury and illness are taking a toll on City's squad and represent contributory factors in explaining the worst defensive record in the English second tier, but Robins fans are fast running out of patience and are demanding answers following back-to-back home defeats to Burnley and Hull.
In a brutally honest assessment, McInnes claims his players can expect no favours from outside of Ashton Gate and must take responsibility for their current predicament.
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"We have to keep our shoulder to the wheel and keep driving on. There is no miracle cure," declared City's plain-speaking boss.
"I've every confidence that, as quick as this poor run started, we can get back onto a winning run like the one we had not so long ago.
"But we have to make sure we keep working hard – it will not turn around without hard work.
"Nobody is going to give us anything. We know the areas in which we have to improve and we need to keep working hard at it."
City's players demonstrated impressive work-rate and determination under extreme pressure to stage an unbeaten eight-match run and avoid relegation towards the end of last season.
Something similar is needed if they are to emerge from this latest slump, but their prospects of doing so are being undermined by a defensive record that has seen the Robins concede 28 goals in 13 games.
That in turn has drained confidence and McInnes must lift his players ahead of back-to-back away games at Huddersfield and Birmingham.
Recalling Saturday's 2-1 home defeat to Hull in front of the Sky TV cameras, he said: "We just need to make sure that the little things that happened, especially in the second half, don't cause us to unravel.
"I think that is a lot to do with the situation we are in. This is nowhere we have not been before and it is only hard work that will get us out of it.
"Hopefully, the players will show the determination to improve so we can go on the kind of run we know we are capable of.
"What we are getting from the players at the minute is a real honesty and work ethic. But every Saturday there is an opposition trying to put one over on you, so we have to do all we can to make sure that side of it improves.
"We have to keep our belief and togetherness to try and get improvement."
Meanwhile, a report on BBC Radio Bristol linking City with a move for Newcastle United defender James Tavernier has been vigorously denied by McInnes.
City's manager could make a return to the loan market for a centre-back after losing Liam Fontaine, Louis Carey and James Wilson to injury, but Magpies right-back Tavernier is not a target.