Brett Pitman is looking to get Town back into the Play-Off places as they visit his former club, Bristol City
An upturn in fortunes is often the case upon the appointment of a new manager and Brett Pitman is wary of the threat Bristol City may pose this weekend for that very reason.
The striker spent two-and-a-half seasons at Ashton Gate and, although cautious of the Robins, he is looking to propel his current side back into the Play-Off positions.
“We’ve still got all to play for and we’re two points off the top-six so we’re not fighting a lost cause here, we’re right in there,” he told Ipswich Player HD.
“Players always raise their game to try to impress a new manager, that’s just how it is. I don’t know if it should be like that, but it is part and parcel of football and I’m sure Bristol City players will be trying to impress Lee Johnson.
“I enjoyed my time there and it’s a good club with good people. It was a bit frustrating towards the end when I wasn’t playing as much as I wanted to, but it was a good club and I did enjoy it.
“Their performances have probably been better than their results so far this season. They try to pass the ball and from things I hear they’ve been a little bit unlucky so it will be a tough game.
Mick McCarthy hopes to have Ben Pringle available for selection, with the midfielder closing in on a loan switch to Portman Road, in an attempt to ease the number of injury concerns the Blues have to deal with ahead of the trip to Ashton Gate. Cole Skuse (foot), Ryan Fraser (hamstring) and Giles Coke (knee) are the latest to be added to the list of unavailable players and the manager will run the rule over whether or not Luke Hyam can return to the side after the midfielder missed last week’s loss at QPR with a calf injury. Jonathan Douglas will definitely miss out as he serves the final game of his three-match ban for being sent-off against Birmingham while Teddy Bishop, David McGoldrick (both hamstring) and Dean Gerken (shoulder) also remain out.
Lee Johnson will take charge of his first Robins match as Town come calling on Saturday. The former Barnsley manager was in the stands to watch his new team pick up all three points at Charlton last weekend, but will be in the dugout for the first time tomorrow. Ben Gladwin is ‘touch and go’ as to whether he can play against the Blues as he had to return to his parent club, QPR, this week to have an injection in his back. Korey Smith had a knock to his ankle this week, but Johnson said in his pre-match press conference that he should be fine to face Town.
Where They Stand
Town – 7th
Bristol City – 21st
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Last Time They Met
Ryan Fraser scored an equaliser just four minutes from time as these two sides drew 2-2 when they last met in September. Luke Chambers scrambled the ball over the line early in the second-half before a deflected goal from Luke Freeman and a powerful finish from Jonathan Kodjia but the Bristolians into the lead. Fraser managed to salvage a draw as he poked Freddie Sears’ cross into the net as the game came to a close.
With a number of injuries throughout the squad, the Mauritian remains one of the few senior midfielder's the manager has at his disposal for the trip to Bristol. Kevin’s role will be somewhat more important as a result, and Town will need a strong performance from him if they’re going to pick up the three points tomorrow.
The midfielder signed on loan from Bournemouth in the January transfer window and scored the winner from the penalty spot as the Robins picked up all three points against Charlton last weekend. He netted eight times in the Championship last season for Middlesbrough, and always adds plenty of creativity for whoever he plays for.
Sky Bet Odds
The bookies are having trouble picking a clear favourite between the Blues and the Robins, and are expecting a tight game tomorrow afternoon. Johnson’s side edge out as favourites and are priced at 6/4 to win the match, whereas Town are available at 15/8. The draw is currently at 11/5.
Referee: Tony Harrington
Assistant Referees: Justin Amey & Kevin Morris
Fourth Official: Chris Powell
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