Here on Leicester.footballblog.co.uk I am now through five teams as in this feature I will be previewing Bristol City. After recent success in the Npower Championship can Keith Millen’s side challenge for promotion this season; however with the division even tougher than before will Bristol City be possible relegation candidates, what will this campaign bring for the fans at Ashton Gate…
Bristol City Preview
Only a few seasons ago Bristol City stunned Championship fans as they managed to reach the play-off final in 07/08, despite reaching those heights recent campaigns in the Championship have been fairly disjointed. With a side which showed so much promise, Bristol City are slowly degrading as last season’s 15th placed finish was their lowest position since returning to the Championship four years ago. The Gary Johnson era is now clearly in the past, as Bristol City are now concentrating on staying in this division rather than challenging for promotion. The inexperienced Keith Millen will need to work wonders in 2011/2012, if he wants to save the Robins from a potential relegation battle; while the exit door seems ever so near for striker Nicky Maynard meaning that goals may well be hard to come by this season. Bristol City need to have yet another consistent campaign under the guidance of Millen, with players capable of keeping them afloat relegation might not be a particular worry.
Firstly former England shot stopper David James is still underlined as one of the best goalkeepers in the Npower Championship, now standing at 40 years of age, James and his experience will be vital to Bristol City this season. Even though he didn’t have the greatest of campaigns in 10/11, David James is still capable of showing some real quality; clean sheets are a certainty for Bristol City and with the team doing reasonably well to stop teams from scoring last season, James and co will need to master that part of their game for a second consecutive campaign. Also the midfield could well play a crucial part, winger Albert Adomah proved to be a fantastic signing for Bristol City in 10/11 the 23 year old set Ashton Gate alight with his pace and tricks, also on the other wing Martyn Woolford who established himself into a great prospect while at Scunthorpe will also be a key player, like Adomah the 25 year old has pace and he has skill, they will need to supply the strikers with golden opportunities, while the duo are both capable of scoring a goal for themselves aswell. Adomah especially could well be one of the stars of this season’s Championship.
Manager – Keith Millen
Keith Millen as a first team manager is far from experienced, being assistant manager of the club for six years and making the step up in weight as first team manager, was always going to be a daunting prospect. Also a former Bristol City player, this will be his first full season as manager of the Robins, so far he has had a mixed reign as the boss but with full plans in store he is capable of managing Bristol City to a respective finish this season, the club may not find the form which awarded them a place in the play-off final in 07/08, but Millen will have a task on his hands but he should command it to perfection and keep Bristol City in this division for yet another season.
Ins and Outs
Ins – Yannick Bolasie(Plymouth), Ryan Taylor(Rotherham), Neil Kilkenny(Leeds)
Outs – John Akinde(Crawley), Stephen Henderson(Portsmouth), Ivan Sproule(Hibernian)
As previous season’s prove that Bristol City are a sinking ship in this division, the main target this season will be survival. With Maynard likely to depart to pastures new, strikers such as David Clarkson, Brett Pitman and Jon Stead will have to supply the goals. Even though the midfield is competitive aswell as the defence, another mediocre campaign is likely for the Bristol City boys. The Robins lack quality in a number of positions, and with many teams looking better equipped Millen’s side will struggle to match the potential they showed in 07/08. A relegation battle could well be on the cards, but relegation itself is pretty unlikely. Prediction – 18th