Bristol City: On the up?By: richprior | December 17th, 2010
As a fresh faced striker from Jersey, tied his boot laces for the first time at the gate, many in the crowd thought, ‘This guy cost us a million, please God may he be worth it. Well after a slow start, Brett Pitman is fast becoming one of the most exciting players in the Championship.
As the ice and mist dispelled from Ashton Gate, Clough Jnr and his Derby boys were caught by a Bristol City side who off the back of Manager and Player of the month awards for Keith Millen and Steven Caulker respectively, put to bed the jinx with a convincing win. After a difficult start to our season, fans really have something to cheer about again. The signing of David James, under the managership of Steve Coppell we assumed the 10/1 odds at the start of the season was a good shout for a flutter. How quickly things change?
Keith Millen was appointed, who after his performances near the end of last season, many feel should have been a shoe in for manager once the season started. This was not to be, and by default he is now in the hot seat. It hasn’t been an easy ride . Poor showings in the cup once again have caught us, the need for a good run is essential. Hopefully the FA Cup will give us our tradition back? It frustrates me when managers claim not to be bothered by cup runs. As we proved 3 years ago on our promotion from the Championship, it was coupled with a convincing and exciting game with a then Premiership side Middlesborough. We matched them over two legs and despite losing in the second leg on penalties, the games gave us pride and revenue which was essential in keeping the club strong.
Our first year in the Championship was one to remember. 2nd place in the league, with games to spare gave us hope. Thrilling games against Crystal Palace got us to the final. But unfortunately, as had happened 3 years before in Cardiff, we lost a play off final to Hull, and lost our place in the Premiership.
We meet that Hull side tomorrow. With only two players remaining from that fateful Summer day they may have something to prove against a much changed Hull side. I hold no grudges. On the day, they were the better side. Dean Windass came back to haunt us on the day, but most City fans admire the effort which Hull City put in, during the first year of their time in the top tier. We are missing influential players such as Carey, but Christian Riberio is a star for the future, and as such will make the right back position his own. With Jon Stead, an absolute steal, and Brett Pitman on fire, we have an enviable forward line. This with Nicky Maynard, biased I know, but the best striker in the Championship and Danny Haynes on the bench; our attacking prowess is strong. With Steven Caulker and Danny Rose, we have future England internationals on our books till the end of the season.
Are things looking up? Damn right they are. Christmas may have come early for the boys in Red. Don’t underestimate us, we have are sights on the top half of the table, and with Maynard back in January we could well be looking at another date this summer. We have been in the play offs every 3 years, why not again?