We can turn this around, says Bristol City assistant manager
ASSISTANT boss Tony Docherty is adamant he and manager Derek McInnes can do a Gary Johnson and turn Bristol City's season around.
Johnson presided over nine straight defeats in all competitions during the early part of his Ashton Gate reign in 2005.
Yet the Londoner survived the axe and inspired a recovery that saw the Robins just miss out on the League One play-offs at the end of the season.
McInnes and Docherty are also under pressure following a run of seven successive defeats which has left City propping up the npower Championship table.
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But instead of caving into pressure from fans, some of whom are advocating a change of manager, club owner Steve Lansdown is offering McInnes and his staff the same backing he gave Johnson seven years ago in the hope they can effect a turnaround in fortunes.
Docherty said: "Someone was telling me there was a similar run under a previous manager several years ago when we lost nine games in a row.
"They stuck with the manager then, finished in the top half and then gained promotion the following season.
"We have to look at that and make sure we do something similar. The club has been here before and we have to make sure the players and the staff work hard to turn this around.
"We inherited a team that was in a worse position than this last year. We turned it around them and we will do it again."
Sunday's 2-0 reverse against Charlton saw the Robins equal a club record for successive league defeats.
Alan Dicks was manager when City suffered seven straight losses in the old Division Two in the 1970-71 season. The board of directors stood by him then and he staged a recovery that saw the team finish 19th and avoid relegation.
Although the run of defeats under Johnson amounted to nine games in total, two of those came in knockout competitions, Barnet and Notts County eliminating the Robins from the LDV Vans Trophy and FA Cup respectively.
McInnes and his players now face the unenviable task of avoiding an unwanted club-record eighth league defeat on the bounce when they take on Blackpool at Ashton Gate on Saturday.
Docherty said: "The next game now becomes essential, because you expect to pick up points from your home games.
"If we analyse the Charlton game and work hard on the training field, hopefully we will get that home win we are all looking for."
City are four points adrift of safety and confidence is at its lowest point all season. But Docherty insisted he and McInnes have faith in the players.
He said: "We came into that same dressing room last year in a worse position than the one we are in now.
"Those players answered the questions then and there are players in there that will continue to do that.
"There are those we have added to the squad that are the right type and that fills me with confidence.
"We've seen the players' reaction and they are not happy with the situation. There is nobody sitting back and thinking it is not their fault.
"Everybody has to unite and make sure they have the spirit to get us through this. We have to galvanise as a squad, make sure we address the issues that need to be addressed and come out fighting."