CITY suffered another disappointing defeat last Saturday as Steve Cotterill’s men were outplayed in a 3-0 defeat at Sheffield United.

The Blades have been in tremendous form on the back of reaching the quarter finals of the FA Cup and what with our historically bad record at Bramall Lane, I can’t say I was too shocked by the result. The performance however was very worrying as we didn’t create very much and were wasteful in terms of possession.

Cotterill stuck with the same team that won 3-1 at Orient and drew 2-2 at home to Tranmere last week. The issue I have with this line-up is still the defence.

Cotterill has partnered his new signing in January El Abd with Flint in the centre and these two players are just too similar and do not complement each other well. Both are slow and not great with the ball at their feet.

He has then used Williams as left back and Osborne right back and, in my opinion, both of these players are best utilised as centre backs. To get the best possible blend in the centre of defence he should probably be using one of Flint/El Abd and one of Osborne/Williams. We then have perfectly good specialist full backs in Cunningham and Moloney to come in and cover the left and right back positions.

The team appears to be worryingly short of belief. We have enough quality to stay in the league I think, but do the players believe they can stay up?

Saturday’s game at home to Gillingham (3pm) will go a long way to answering that question. The Gills are currently 13th in the League One table, but actually only six points ahead of us so it’s not difficult to see why this is a big game in which a win would boost our survival hopes dramatically.

This is a fairly decent time to be playing Gillingham as they’ve lost their last two and away from home they’ve lost more games than just about any other team in the league.

I hope Cotterill changes the starting line up and goes for the jugular. We need to attack teams at Ashton Gate.