Login Register

Bristol City boss Steve Cotterill urges fans to raise Ashton Gate volume

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: August 15, 2014

Oxford celebrating their winner in front of the demolished Wedlock Stand at Ashton Gate last Tuesday PICTURE: PINNACLE

Comments (0)

Bristol City manager Steve Cotterill is urging the home supporters to make an extra effort to compensate for the temporary loss of one end at Ashton Gate this season.

City face two home games in a row starting with tomorrow's League One clash with Colchester while Leyton Orient visit on Tuesday and Cotterill is concerned that ground redevelopment work might hinder his players.

Following demolition of the Wedlock Stand earlier this month, only three sides of the stadium are open and away fans are being housed in the Atyeo Stand. City lost last Tuesday's Capital One Cup tie against Oxford United and Cotterill said: "It may sound silly, but I think it will make it a little bit tougher for us this season having our supporters behind just one goal.

"The Oxford fans made a fair bit of noise when they were all together the other night and that makes things a bit more difficult for us. I'm not sure that is going to help us too much this season. I know there is nothing we can do about it because of the redevelopment of the stadium, and none of us would want to stop that.

"It won't help us when the bigger teams come to us and we need both sides of our ground to be really passionate and really vocal and give the lads a lot of backing.

"Not having one end and the other end being full of their (Oxford's) fans was quite surreal the other night. It is not ideal coming out of the tunnel to the away fans and then going back in to the away fans."

Cotterill made eight changes to his starting line-up for the visit of Oxford in midweek, but will almost certainly revert to the side that beat Sheffield United 2-1 on the opening day.

Aaron Wilbraham, Korey Smith, Mark Little Luke Ayling and Luke Freeman are all in line to make home debuts and Cotterill said: "Hopefully, their home debuts will be as good as their away debuts.

"If we can match that, we will be delighted. It is a game we want to win and a game we will be positive in."

He added: "We've had some reports on Colchester and, apparently, they played quite well against Oldham last week," said Cotterill.

"We think we know how they will play and we are going to be in for a tough game."

Cotterill has given his backing to goalkeeper Frank Fielding. The City boss talked earlier this summer of his desire to recruit an experienced stopper to provide competition for former Derby County keeper Fielding.

But with less than three weeks of this transfer window remaining, Cotterill is having to prioritise.

There is only so much money available for new signings and City's manager is targeting a striker.

That means plans to bring in another keeper have had to be shelved for now and Fielding has been given the green light to continue between the sticks.

Cotterill took time out from preparing his team to explain the situation.

He said: "We don't have a never-ending budget. We have a goalkeeper here in Frankie Fielding, who was excellent against Sheffield United and excellent the other night (against Oxford United).

"There was nothing he could have done with any of the goals and, as I've stated before, at this moment in time, he is our number one. While that is the case, we will roll with it."

Should Fielding be injured, Cotterill will be forced to fall back on rookie keeper Dave Richards.

Just 20 years of age, the former Cardiff City player has yet to make a senior appearance and has been on the bench since Elliott Parish left to join Blackpool last week. Cotterill added: "Is Dave Richards ready yet? Probably not. Should anything happen to Frankie, and God forbid it doesn't, then we would probably have to go and get a goalkeeper on loan.

"As of this moment, though, there is no extra money for a goalkeeper when there is maybe another position I would like to fill, because we potentially need a little bit more depth there."

Read more from Western Daily Press

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

max 4000 characters