Bristol City Football Club are 17th in League One. That doesn’t sound right does it? Sadly for all Robins fans out there, that’s the predicament your club finds itself in.
As news broke this week of ‘Paulo’s Circus’ coming to Ashton Gate, fans may be excused thinking that they had already arrived, and been here for some time. Performances on the pitch have sometimes replicated that of a circus act, with goals being leaked left right and yes, centre.
However, now is not a time for joking, now is a time to pull together and maintain League One football. I painstakingly said the same thing this time last season, only Championship football was on the line back then. I was convinced then that if we were to drop into League One, we would certainly make a fist of bouncing straight back up. In fact, I ran a poll on Twitter and the optimism amongst fans backed my views, little did we know it would be ‘another’ long hard season of fighting relegation.
After witnessing a tremendous effort in securing three unexpected, yet hugely needed points at Leyton Orient last week, belief was rife that back to back wins would be secured by beating Tranmere Rovers at home. Despite the efforts of the players, a tired, lacklustre performance meant fans left the stadium rather content with just a point, whilst bemoaning the opportunity to take all three against a rather poor League One outfit.
One thing that did fill me with hope as I left the stadium was the reaction of the fans. A mooted applause replaced the boos, whilst Twitter and radio phone ins were understanding of the work load the players had been through.
Between January 14th and February 15th, the club had amassed nine games, playing Saturday-Tuesday in every week bar one of those weeks. This run of fixtures, coupled with the travelling looked to have caught up with the squad in the jaded performance against Tranmere.
As I look cautiously ahead, games look winnable, but every game in League One looks winnable to me. On paper, this Bristol City side is littered with individuals capable of plying their trade higher up the divisions. Yet at Bristol City, it never seems to click. With three of the next four games away from home, one thing is certain, City are going to be fighting relegation right to the wire again.
Will they survive this time? I dread to think what happens if they don’t.
Written by Lee Molland, We Are Going Up’s Bristol City blogger
Lee tweets at @molls28