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[Archived] GAME THREAD - Bristol City Away 12/13

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After the international break, our next game is Bristol City away at Ashton Gate, a ground we haven't played at since 1991. They finished 20th last season but aren't really a bad side and we shouldn't be taking them lightly....especially not in this division.

For the last few seasons they have hovered around mid-table finishing 15th two seasons ago with two successive 10th placed finishes before that. Although in the previous season (2007/08) they finished 4th and got to the playoff final before losing 1-0 to Hull City and a Dean Windass goal.

The Robins were founded in 1897 and joined the Football League in 1901 where they were the only non-London League side south of Birmingham until 1920. They have yet to win a major trophy although they did win the Welsh Cup in 1934 and the Anglo-Scottish Cup in 1978 after beating a St Mirren side managed by Alex Ferguson. They have also won the Football League Trophy (also known as the Johnstone's Paint Trophy) in 1986 and 2003.

Their highest position ever achieved was runners up in the top division in 1907, their first season in the top flight and they reached their only major final (FA Cup) a couple of seasons later which resulted in a loss to Man United. After being relegated from the top flight in 1911, they spent 65 years outside the top flight before spending 4 years there from 1976 to 1980 with a 13th place finish their highest achieved in this period.

Perhaps rather ominously for us, their relegation in 1980 caused rising debt, and financial troubles helped bring about another two successive relegations. In 1982 when they were in the Fourth Division they were declared bankrupt. After sorting themselves out they eventually rose steadily through the divisions reaching the Championship in 2007/08.

Their manager is a Scot called Derek McInnes who the fans are fond of and was successful at St Johnstone where he got them promoted before establishing them as an SPL club.

Players to have played for both teams include Bradley Orr, Jon Stead, Jason Roberts and Andy Cole. Roy Hodgson also managed both teams.

Rivals are Bristol Rovers, Cardiff and Swindon. The first two are the fiercest although due to playing in separate leagues as their most local rivals, certain fans consider Cardiff as their main ones at the moment due to them playing each other pretty regularly in recent seasons.

Famous fans include John Cleese (actor), Justin Lee Collins (tv presenter), Banksy (graffiti artist), Tony Robinson (actor and presenter), Jonathan Pearce (Robot Wars and MOTD commentator), Richard Scudamore (PL Chief Executive), Marcus Trescothick (cricketer) and Russell Crowe (actor) follows them and Leeds.

Our head-to-head record isn't the greatest, overall it is is Played 35, Won 10, Drew 9, Lost 16, Scoring 53 and Conceding 55. Our record at Ashton Gate is Played 18, Won 1, Drew 6, Lost 11, Scoring 14, Conceding 32. Although the last time we played them was at home in January 1992 where we won 4-0.

My starting line-up for the game barring injuries would be:


Ribeiro Dann Givet Henley

Kazim Vukcevic Etuhu Martin O

Nuno Gomes Rhodes

I used to live in Bristol but I don't anymore which I hadn't envisioned when agreeing to write this preview so I used the internet to ask some of their fans some questions: Newquay-Red, hodge, bcfctim, cynic

1 - How has your season gone so far? Where do you see yourself finishing?

Our season has started very well; last season it took us until at least November to get this many points. We are enjoying a decent period for now which will most likely culminate in a mid table finish, around eleventh place.

1-0 losses away from home and 2 wins at home each time putting 4 passed the opponents sees us lying 9th, so for us compared to the starts to the last 2 seasons this has been a very good one for us. I would hope to see us finish no lower than 14th the way the season has started and the football we have been playing. Realistically I could see us finishing up to about 8th, I don't think we quite have it in us to keep pace to look for a play off spot yet, maybe a season or 2 if the squad plays as it can and McInnes stays.

Great start to the season so far. Touch disappointing losing to Barnsley, but that followed two of the most impressive performances at Ashton Gate since we were promoted to the championship. High hopes for a solid mid-table finish at least.

Its going better than I expected TBH, but I still have doubts about the commitment of some players to prevent us struggling.

2 - Do you rate your manager? What about your owners?

McInnes is a class manager, his signings have been convincing thus far and the level of football has certainly been improved. Players also seem to be motivated.

Rate McInnes highly, so far has shown to have a very good eye for a buy in the transfer market, and as a manager he appears to get the players well motivated, especially for big games as noticed last year when we had crucial games in the backend of the season such as winning away at Forest, draws with Birmingham and West Ham and Coventry, probably the game with the most pressure. It also seems his philosophy is to have a team beyond normal levels of fitness (or that could be our old managers never put much stock in this so it appears more so now).

Steve Lansdown is the majority shareholder of the club, and has been around a long time. Very good person to have as he has been prepared to pump money in again and again regardless the club making a loss, he has also put alot of money into our potential move to a new stadium again highlighting his commitment.

Really rate Delboy. There's a real air of professionalism in the way he goes about his work. In the transfer market, the shake-up of the backroom staff, our pre-season. Destined to go on to the highest level sooner rather than later, hopefully with city!

So far, so good with McInnes, he's got the players working hard and the football has improved. Not a bad word for Steve Lansdown - City through and through.

3 - What do you think of your squad and what players should we be wary of?

Our squad is the strongest in years. Woolford is enjoying good form which even the most hardcore City fan would not have seen coming. Our attack is now one to be afraid of, with Sam Baldock and Stephen Davies joining our 'dedicated journeyman' Jon Stead and young lad Ryan Taylor. Greg Cunningham is doing a good job of feeding the ball to the wings of the opposing half, where Woolford and our most feared player Albert Adomah can perform blistering runs to overtake all but the best defenders on their day.

I'm more happy with this squad then the ones we've had in a good few years, our play off season 4 years ago or so at least. As said before, Woolford has hit some serious form and if he keeps it up he will be one of our best players this season. Of course the normal pundits will point out Albert Adomah and rightly so, lightning pace and very good with the ball at his feet. Others to highlight would be Greg Cunningham at left back looks a very good player who like to overlap Woolford and get forward, also very solid defensively from what i've seen. I didn't see the Cardiff game but Sam Baldock got a good report for a guy coming off the bench on debut, not too sure at Barnsley.

Going forward we look a real threat this season. Baldock couldn't have made a better debut and looks a quality signing, and obviously Adomah's always a threat, although he's not been at his best so far this season. But the main area of improvement is down the left. Before it used to be just get the ball to Adomah and hope something happens, but with Woolford in top form and the terrific cunningham overlapping at LB, we have some really balance to our side. All that's missing is a commanding CB, and hopefully we'll have someone on loan by saturday.

Reasonable squad, Others have mentioned the players.

4 - Who are your favourites this season for promotion and relegation?

Barnsley will be among the relegation candidates (If we forget our last result against them!). After their performance against us, it would be no surprise if Crystal Palace went down. The final spot would probably be Peterborough, for no particular reason...

Judging by the start of the season Blackpool would be the favourites for automatic as they seem a goals machine at the moment, if Rhodes gets going with Kazim-Richards you guys could be right up there. Few others I would expect to be around the play offs Wolves, Cardiff (regretfully) and Leicester. Relegation, well Crystal Palace as they were pretty awful against us, Charlton and Barnsley for me as the other 2 but P'boro could end up struggling.

Think you'll be right up there. Judging by their start to the season Blackpool will make a return to the premier league, and i just have a feeling charlton will go up, there always seems to be one promoted side that does well. Relegated: Peterborough, Palace and Ipswich.

Blackburn, Bolton and Forest should be up there. Barnsley, Palace and Peterborough look doomed.

5 - What do you make of Blackburn's squad? (not considering the manager)

Your squad is respectable and the capture of Nuno Gomes is very impressive for a Championship club, don't really know much about the rest of your squad.

Good squad which SHOULD be right up there at the end of the season, if play offs aren't made then the season will be a massive dissapointment.

Blackburn's squad looks very strong, you certainly should go up. Only question is how you'll perform when the chips are down, because a couple of defeats and the crowd will really start to get on their back.

Strong - should do well.

6 - What do you make of the situation regarding Blackburn's owners and manager?

If you do not go up this season it will be a disaster, and if your team wants to accomplish that then you should get rid of Kean, the man is out of his depth; even a City fan with no interest in Blackburn can see that. Your owners are clueless. Our owner regularly gives us money to spend and as a local lad he seems a bit more committed to The City of Bristol (evidenced by him also buying our Rugby club). Your owners see your team as a money making machine, and Shebby Singh is entirely hopeless and clueless. Still cant believe that your owners are still backing Kean.

A mess, either the owners have more faith in Kean then Liverpool did in Dalglish did allowing the transfers of Carroll, Downing and Henderson or something dodgy is going on with why he still has a job.

Really makes a mockery of the FAs so called "fit and proper persons" test. Feel a bit sorry for Steve Kean. Although he was clearly out of his depth in the premier league, he was the one who had to take the flack for what was ultimately Venky's incompetence.

The relationship between the agent, the manager, and the owners looks iffy. At any other club, the manager would have been fired ages ago. Some may say that maybe he knows too much - not that I'm saying that of course.

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We'll go up by a couple of goals in the first half then we'll fall apart in the second and scrape a jammy draw with Bristol City having a much better second half.

It's going to be the same outcome all season with Mister Slimy in charge, no plan B and tactically outwitted by every other manager in the league.


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We have a chance to win if not get the lead too early. Leading by one goal after 60min means draw at best. We will score atleast twice so it´s 1-2 or 2-2. Is there a chance the clown moves Kaz on right side? Will Simon be given a chance?

A draw and the clown is out!? 16 or 17 pts from 7 matches is not possible if not winning. If it would be the case,,

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Anyone any ideas where to park and good away pubs?

Bristol can be pretty hellish for traffic, so you might consider the park and ride at Portway or Bath Road, depending on which way you're coming from. Or the train - it's walkable from Temple Meads station.

Pubs near the ground are a bit fighty. The centre of Bristol is amazing for pubs though. I recommend the Orchard (near the SS Great Britain) and the Apple (on the water off Welshback) for top cider, or Zero Degrees (top of Christmas Steps) which is a nice microbrewery. Number One Harbourside (in the waterfront building, right in the centre) does good cheap food.

I was going to go to this one, as I haven't been to a game for years and it's not far for me, but after reading the Leeds away thread I'm considering just popping in to town for a few pints. Not sure I could handle being caught between an in-fighting group of Rovers fans and the Bristol mob.

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I was going to go to this one, as I haven't been to a game for years and it's not far for me, but after reading the Leeds away thread I'm considering just popping in to town for a few pints. Not sure I could handle being caught between an in-fighting group of Rovers fans and the Bristol mob.

Don't let that put you off. I suppose it depends where you hang around or if your ticket is near some 'undesirables', but I was at the Leeds game and saw/heard no bother at all. Everything I saw and heard on the terraces was good-natured, I'm sure 2-0 helped but for the most part it was one of the more pleasant atmospheres of the last couple of years.

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I was going to go to this one, as I haven't been to a game for years and it's not far for me, but after reading the Leeds away thread I'm considering just popping in to town for a few pints. Not sure I could handle being caught between an in-fighting group of Rovers fans and the Bristol mob.

Hmm, I think you should still come! For all the talk on the Leeds thread, I cant remember anything bad happening in the stadium. Maybe I was just too engrossed with the game (lol!) to notice but I definitely didn't see any fighting or anything.

Also Bristol is unreserved benches so you will be able to go away from folk if you don't like them.

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Win, lose or draw, does anyone really care now ?

Hours of my working week used to be taken-up in discussions, speculation and gossip about Rovers - time was made for it !. No one seems to bother too much these days - huge, huge apathy, I find.

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