A FINE comeback at Millwall may have given City a chance of the play-offs depending on the results elsewhere, writes Graham Ford. A penalty save and two late goals clawed City back from the brink of their season fizzling out.

City would be nailed on for a top-six place had it not been for, now admitted, diabolical refereeing at Aston Villa, and similarly last weekend at home to Derby.

Semenyo was rash with his challenge to get a debatable red card but City with 10 men had no luck in front of goal whatsoever. That’s got my whingeing out of the way. Now the reality check.

Whatever happens this weekend the improvement City have made this season, which listening to many of my fellow fans you would think is huge, is marginal.

Even if City win on Saturday, they will only have five more points than last season and will have lost more matches. In the vital run in they have managed just four wins in the last 15 games.

Sorry to be a wet blanket, but that is not the form of a promotion side and while I accept improvement has been made, it is small. If next week you are reading that City are in the play-offs and then miracle on miracle they win them, then once again the beautiful game will have defied all common sense and that’s why we love it.

Progress and improvement are slightly different. There are a clutch of young players coming through at Ashton Gate. Bakinson, who spent this season on loan at Newport is their ‘Young player of the year’. Zak Vyner , who fought a losing battle against relegation at Rotherham will have learned a lot from that campaign . There are others coming back this summer having gained valuable experience and doubtless Loan Manager, Brian Tinnion will be busy this summer finding suitable new homes for them to progress further next season. Three youngsters helped Lee's dad win the National League South at Torquay. This player development progress is excellent and should result in first team improvement over time.

They say it’s the hope that kills you as a football fan. I am hoping for favours from others this weekend and then we can dream again.