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The Management...


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To avoid the inevitable emotion and backbiting that usually swamps the forum after results like this, I have deiberately left my response to last night for 24 hours.

In the cold light of day, you have to ask yourself whether the team has improved under the current management. Forget who the manager is - has the side shown any promise?

Last night's debacle could be forgiven if it was a one-off, a blip, an off-day. But we all know that last night was just the latest in a long line of sub-standard, under-achieving performances. In fact, the decent performances are becoming the exception to the rule, rather than the norm.

When I went to the game last night, I went thinking that it had to be better tonight because it couldn't get any worse than Chesterfield. I was wrong. At least during the performance against Chesterfield, we managed to score a couple of good goals in a spell of good play.

Last night was devoid of any sort of quality whatsoever. Wallsall were a poor side and you could see why they had an atrocious away record. Yet, we contrived to make them look good! Our passing was so poor, it was shocking.

We never managed to get control of midfield until we were one-nil down and once again playing catch-up football. It is a damning indictment of the game that we lost one-nil and yet the man-of-the-match was a defender!

While we have no way of knowing exactly what is going on behind the scenes at Ashton Gate, it is most obvious that the recent upheavals surrounding the fall from grace of Tommy Doherty, Danny Coles and - possibly - Luke Wilkshire is affecting the team and their performance on the pitch.

We can only speculate whether the reasons for this are purely footballing or whether there are personal differences between the management and the players concerned. The point I would make regarding this is:

The management must be careful to ensure that these players have been dropped for footballing reasons, rather than personal ones. It is the management's duty to play the strongest possible side, regardless of personal differences. There is no doubt that the likes of Danny Coles, Tommy Doherty and Luke Wilkshire are better players than some of those that are out there at the moment.

Unfortunately, I can't help feeling that the Bristol City side playing at the moment is the management's "mates", not necessarily the best team. How can TWO CURRENT INTERNATIONALS not warrant a place in a third division team?

The slow deterioration of the side over the past 6 months has been painful to watch and harks back to the sort of damage that the Pulis regime did in their short time in charge.

In a way, the current incumbents are worse because they are supposedly 100% red, whereas everyone knew that Pulis and his cohorts couldn't care less what happened to the club. However, whereas Pulis' was cynical, our current management appear to be naive in the extreme.

Nobody shed any tears when Pulis went, and neither should we do so now if the present management go the same way.

Regardless of public affection and respect for their record with the club, they now find themselves in a perilous position in their tenure and, in my opinion, if they really had any respect for the club, they should fall on their collective swords and give someone else a chance to do some damage limitation and salvage what is becoming a very, very forgettable season.

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