Bristol City have been one of the most in-form teams in the Championship this year and currently find themselves in 6th place, which is a much better effort compared to their 17th place finish last season.
However, City were in a much better position going back six weeks ago when they only found themselves five points off top spot. In recent weeks, they haven’t been the same team under Lee Johnson, other than the fact they beat Manchester United in the cup and didn’t put in a bad effort against Manchester City.
How can Bristol City put their bad spell behind them to ensure they’re fighting for promotion when the season comes to a close?
Bristol City were 3-0 up against Sunderland last weekend and still only walked away with a point in a game that finished 3-3. What went wrong for City? Was it due to the two unlucky own goals they gave away or was it a case of being complacent? Sunderland obviously have the experience in terms of playing against the elite in the Premier League but given how City have been playing in recent months, it shouldn’t have happened. Lee Johnson and his men will need to forget about recent results like these and concentrate on the upcoming fixtures. You can view the upcoming fixtures and get a feel for how likely each game can be won by checking out the BetVictor odds which currently have the team at 7/4 for winning the upcoming game against Leeds.
City were a very confident side going back six weeks ago. They were almost guaranteed to walk away with points and managed to do exactly that with a long string of successful results. If City are to bounce back in the coming weeks, they’ll need to get their heads down and look at what they’ve already achieved. They’re not in the positive half of the table by luck. They’re there simply because they deserve to have a fighting chance of playing against the big guns next season.
One of the most important things for Bristol City from here on out is that they keep their players fit. It’s very hard to accomplish when they’re playing multiple games a week and they still have a backlog to get through. However, with the right management from Lee and his staff, they should be able to introduce some younger talent to give some of the senior players a rest when they see fit. This is especially hard to do given the fact Bristol City have hit a bit of a bad blip, but it’s a necessity if they are to go forward and accomplish their targets this year.
When you compare this current season to last years, Bristol City are flying at the moment. At the start of the season, they probably set out initial objectives of finishing in the top half of the table and, if they can string a few results together between now and the end of the season, they should easily be able to do that. Obviously, their objectives would have changed throughout the season because they were winning games they weren’t expected to. However, they need to go back to their initial objectives and then build on that next season. If the current squad can play without pressure, they might even have a strong chance of competing in the playoffs come May.
The current squad of players Johnson has at his disposal are excellent players with a lot of ability. You only need to look as far as Flint to see that they have a squad capable of competing with the elite, as they’ve already shown on multiple occasions this season. Players need to realise they have much more to offer than what they’ve shown on the pitch in recent weeks. If players can take a bit of the responsibility for the poor recent results, they’ll be able to give more to the manager and the fans week after week.
Fans also need to carry on singing their hearts out from week to week to give the team a bit of confidence going forward. Without fans backing their side, squads are lifeless and don’t always perform to the best of their ability. Fans will always become distracted by some poor results, but if they can see that Bristol City have already achieved better things this year, they should be able to keep giving their all for the robins.
Bristol City have an excellent academy and some brilliant talent in their youth setups. If he’s going to be able to keep his side fresh and raring to go over the next few weeks, he’ll need to put some trust into his youth players. While the likes of Flint and co can be relied upon, they’re not robots, and they will eventually need a rest. If the youth players can step up and shine for Lee Johnson, they’ll have a very good squad of players full of fresh legs. It’s going to be one of the most crucial points if City are going to compete at the better end of the table. We’ve already seen the attacking quality Bristol City possesses, and we’ve already seen how they can keep out teams all day long. However, if they aren’t fresh enough in the upcoming fixtures, those sorts of qualities can quickly be forgotten about. Ultimately, they could get walked over quite easily by some of the other quality teams in the Championship. They’ll have a stronger chance if the senior players can stay fit.
Bristol City have some very tough fixtures coming up over the next few weeks and, given their recent run of form, they’re likely not going to be very confident going into the games. If, however, they can show some glimpses of quality like they have shown for a large part of this season, they should be able to bring out a good performance or two to add some points to their tally. Whether they can string enough results together to compete with the other playoff candidates remains to be seen, but they do have the quality and experience to make things happen.
How do you think Bristol City will do between now and the end of the season? Will they continue dropping down the table or will they produce enough quality to see them into the Premier League next season?
Bristol City was one of the best teams in the Championship this season, but they have hit a blip in their targets of promotion to the Premier League recently. As long as they can forget about their recent run of results (especially the 3-3 draw against Sunderland), they should be able to progress easily. They already have the talent to take the team into the Premier League, but they’ll all need to step up individually if they are going to have any chance of promotion, whether that’s through the automatic process or the playoffs.