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Karleigh Osborne delighted to sign new deal with Bristol City as Steve Cotterill's first signing

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: January 08, 2014

Karleigh Osborne has signed a long-term deal with Bristol City

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Karleigh Osborne feared his proposed Bristol City future might evaporate when the club switched managers halfway through the season.

Signed on loan from Millwall by head coach Sean O'Driscoll at the end of October, the 25-year-old defender had already held preliminary talks with the League One club regarding a long-term contract.

But the prospects of his move to Ashton Gate becoming permanent were thrown into doubt when O'Driscoll was sacked in early December and replaced soon afterwards by Steve Cotterill.

The fact Osborne was serving a three-match suspension and was unable to play when Cotterill first arrived, did nothing to reassure him.

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In the end, he had no need to worry. Restored to the starting line-up for games against Walsall and Stevenage over Christmas, former Brentford star Osborne did enough to persuade Cotterill he represented a sound investment. Talks were staged between City and Millwall, agreement was reached late last week and the Londoner penned a two-and-a-half-year deal yesterday, making him Cotterill's first signing since he took charge.

He said: "I had a few worries when the change of manager was made. There is always a chance the new man comes in and wants to do things differently.

"I was suspended at the time and unable to show him what I could do, which made things even worse.

"But I need not have worried. Steve Cotterill spoke to me, was really supportive and reassured me. He said he wanted me to be here, which was good to hear.

"I suppose I must have done something right. After that, things moved quite quickly and I was delighted to be offered a two-and-a-half-year deal."

Osborne did not have to think twice about exchanging a peripheral role with Millwall in the Championship for a relegation fight at the wrong end of League One.

"It was an easy choice to make in the end," said the hard-tackling centre-back, whose chief motivation in leaving the capital for Bristol was to play regular first-team football.

"Bristol City is a great club, the players are a really good bunch and they have an excellent manager.

"But the main reason for me wanting the move was to play games regularly. I had not had that over the past 18 months at Millwall and I appreciated Bristol City giving me that chance.

"I enjoyed my time at Millwall and I'd like to thank their fans and wish the club all the best for the future. But my future is here now with Bristol City and I want to help get this club back in the Championship."

Brentford have extended the loan spells of Chelsea midfielder George Saville and Fulham striker Marcello Trotta until the end of the season.

Saville, 20, moved in June and has featured 24 times for the Bees, scoring three goals. Italian Trotta, 21, has scored seven goals in 20 appearances for the League One leaders since joining in September.

"George and Marcello have made an excellent contribution to the season so far," Bees boss Mark Warburton said.

"I have every confidence that they will continue to have a very strong influence in future games. Thanks to Chelsea and Fulham for their co-operation."

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