City Chat: We can't afford to give teams head-starts
11:02am Friday 24th January 2014 in Gloucestershire Sport
CITY’S league position remains critical after a 2-2 home draw with MK Dons on Saturday.
The City players did well to fight back after finding themselves 2-0 down at half-time but if we are to avoid a second successive relegation then we can’t afford to put ourselves in that kind of position in the first place. MK Dons’ goals were both preventable as the midfield and defence switched off.
City were also guilty of missing some key chances in the first half with Baldock again blasting straight at the ‘keeper when through one-on-one and Emmanuel-Thomas not putting enough on an early effort on goal.
Baldock certainly made amends in the second half with a scrappy goal and a good finish to rescue a point for City.
On Tuesday evening I took the opportunity to go to Ashton Gate for a supporters meeting with the Bristol City board, owner Steve Lansdown and manager Steve Cotterill. Lansdown kicked things off by re-stating his passion for the club and continued financial commitment. He stated that Bristol City (the football club company) was now not in debt after he personally wrote off £35 million in debt last year.
The stadium company remains £20million in debt (an interest free loan provided by Lansdown), however the value of Ashton Gate exceeds £20 million. He also revealed that City would begin redeveloping Ashton Gate at the end of this season with the East End first to be demolished in May in what will be a phased development resulting in a revamped 27,000 capacity stadium.
Lansdown will loan the club a further £35million in total for this redevelopment. These are all mind-boggling figures for fans to take in, but the news appears good and pushing forward with the stadium redevelopment is a massive positive going forward.
City have two very tough away games in the next week. Firstly, we visit third-placed Wolves on Saturday (3pm) before travelling to second-placed Brentford (7.45pm) the following Tuesday.
I hate to be pessimistic but having already lost to both these teams at Ashton Gate earlier in the season; I cannot see us picking up a win. A point or two would however keep us ticking over until our next home fixtures and they are the ones that we really have to win.
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