The Opposition View: Bristol City

Last updated : 07 March 2011 By Jim Bonner

Robins fan Tom Burnell answers the questions I put to him ahead of tomorrow evening's encounter with Bristol City.

Bristol City sit ten points clear of the bottom three, so is relegation no longer an issue after a season where you have struggled for the majority?

Thinking we're now safe would be the worst thing we can do - this division is tight enough that anybody could still make a late escape or a late collapse. Keep on plodding along, winning games and working the squad over to try and facilitate some drastic rebuilding in the summer please.

What has been the main factor in City's upturn in form, having won three games on the trot?

We honestly don't seem to have anything to answer other than "Nicky Maynard". We go on good runs (winning 3-0 v Cardiff at home then drawing away to QPR) but then utterly collapse and are abysmal again. Our recent 0-4 win away to Preston came on the end of a particularly bad spell.

A lot of the online fanbase will question Keith Millen's abilities to sort out our defensive issues at times but then retreat when we're on a decent run, like now.

Now that he has had time to settle in, how has David James performed this season?

James still divides opinion a little. He's been at fault for a few goals along the way but then any keeper will be. I think he's built a relationship with his defence although how much of that is down to the immense presence of on-loan Spurs youngster Stephen Caulker may be answered against Pompey as he's likely to be out.

David Cotterill made his name at Ashton Gate and has made an impact since arriving on loan from Swansea. What did Bristol City fans think of him?

Cotterill was an odd one. We got £2m up front (or so) from Wigan for a player who was young and had only played one full season in League One. Got absolutely no problems with that - it probably funded our way out of League One and an added boost to our CCC pre-season strengthening to an extent.

I don't recall him being disrespectful about the club since leaving so I wish him well.

Who are the key players in your side?

Nicky Maynard. Quite simply, he is the main component of our team. Albert Adomah is also fairly good when not double-marked.

What are the biggest weaknesses in your team?

Most of our weaknesses are the poor squad players brought in by Steve Coppell - Cisse, Hunt (completely abandoned by Keith Millen now), Stewart etc. That and a creaking, growing older and older ex-League 1 defensive unit which doesn't have the greatest depth to it.

City may have won their last three games but Pompey have won their last six matches without conceding, so are you expecting a good match on Tuesday?

With City these days, I honestly have no expectation or ability to predict how we'll turn out.

Predict the outcome of the game.

Although having said the above, I'm now gonna say 2-1 home win.