Friday, 17 August 2012
Bristol City Season Preview: Tom Langridge
As with all of the greatest shows, they finish on a high and leave you wanting more. And just when you think it’s all over, there’s a short encore which wraps everything up nicely and leaves you with a smile of satisfaction as you exit, ready to face the dark night outside.
And so it is with pleasure I introduce Tom Langridge, a freelance sports journalist who is mad about Bristol City and looking to get into sports writing. He has contributed this additional piece, focusing on the seemingly tough pre-season the players endured and then moving on to the hustle and bustle of the transfer window, to complete the picture on The Exiled Robin and setting things up nicely as you exit the site and begin thinking about heading up the M5, M42 and M1 for the start of the season.
Tom writes match reports on City for the comprehensive football site It’s Round and it’s White so check out his writing by followinghim on Twitter here:
Something that has been missing from a pre-season campaign at Ashton Gate for a number of years.
However Derek McInnes has rekindled the fans’ enjoyment of the ups and downs of the summer transfer window. McInnes laid his cards out early on by stating he wanted one or two new faces before the squad returned in early July.
City have been slow out of the blocks under previous managers, leaving the fans feeling nervous that the season was approaching and players weren’t arriving.
But with McInnes, City showed their intentions early, signing veteran midfielder Jody Morris and exciting full back Greg Cunningham in the first week of the squad returning.
Just hearing the player’s interviews after they returned from their pre-season training camp in Marbella was enough to fill the fans with an eagerness for the season to start now.
Triple training sessions in the boiling heat, vigorous fitness training and many of the players coming back saying it was ‘one of the hardest pre-season tours of their career’. McInnes had given them a true work out, and the signings brought in before the friendlies began only added to fans excitement.
Tom Heaton, a good solid goalkeeper who came through the Manchester United academy and saved Steven Gerrard’s penalty in Cardiff’s Carling Cup final penalty shootout defeat, whilst Paul Anderson provides more Championship experience as a winger who can play on wings as well as playing behind a lone striker.
City’s pre-season friendlies have provided the fans with plenty of encouragement that we could continue the run of form that saw us drag ourselves out of a relegation dog fight and finish with an eight game unbeaten run.
The only downside to the summer will be the club’s failure to find a pacey striker, despite McInnes’ best efforts.
With just Pitman and Stead fit for the opener versus Nottingham Forest, McInnes will have to decide whether to try and push for one more signing or to go with just one upfront at the City Ground.
Either way, I’m sure the Scot, along with every City fan, hopes that the players are confident following their pre-season results and get off to a good start in McInnes’ first full season at Ashton Gate."
Thanks again to Tom for his contribution.
And that really is that. COYR
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