Bristol City fan column: El-Abd signing has unsettled defence

Bristol City FC

Bristol City FC

First published in Thornbury Sport by

IT’S been another disappointing week for City.

Two away games and two 3-1 defeats, albeit to a couple of the best sides in the league in Wolves and Brentford.

But still the manner of defeat in both games has been disappointing with the players continuing the trend of this season by beating themselves through making errors as opposed to the opposition playing really well to beat us.

The defence was looking a lot more settled to the end of O’Driscoll’s reign and at the start of Cotterill’s, however since Cotterill brought in experienced defender El-Abd from Brighton we have began conceding goals at a rate of knots again. El-Abd’s first three games have seen us concede eight goals, whereas the previous four league games had seen us concede just three goals. Although he has maybe only been directly at fault for one goal, I feel he has unsettled the defence as Cotterill has shifted players out of position (or out of the team) to accommodate him.

Cotterill needs to quickly settle on a back three or four and keep playing them together. Scoring goals has not been a problem for us this season, keeping them out has.

We are now faced with two home games in the space of four days, starting with a six pointer against Carlisle United on Saturday (3pm) followed by the visit of Coventry City on Tuesday (7.45pm). In my opinion we simply have to take a minimum of four points from these games – ideally six if I’m honest. We beat Carlisle 4-2 earlier in the season and could go three points behind the Cumbrian club – who currently lie 17th in the table - with a win on Saturday.

Tuesday’s game against Coventry, meanwhile, could be a cracker as both teams score goals and concede them as demonstrated by the nine-goal thriller between the two teams earlier in the season. The real possibility of a second successive relegation is beginning to dawn on City fans and we must win our home games if we are to stand a chance of survival.

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