Bristol City boss Keith Millen is feeling the pressure as his struggling Robins prepare to face the Canaries at Ashton Gate this weekend.
The West Country outfit have been in freefall since Steve Coppell resigned unexpectedly after just two competitive games in charge, and they dropped into the relegation zone on Tuesday night with a 3-1 defeat at Pompey.
Confidence is clearly low in the camp and as we’ve seen with Paul Lambert’s Norwich, momentum can be hard to stop when it gets hold of you. Unfortunately for the Robins, this particular impetus is taking them in the wrong direction.
But former caretaker chief Millen is staying positive – he has to I guess – and challenged his players to rise to the occasion against the third-placed Canaries.
It could make for an interesting afternoon in BS3.
“It’s a must-win game, it really is,” he told the club’s official website www.bcfc.co.uk this week.
“If players can’t handle the pressure of a must-win match then they won’t be involved. That’s how important it is now.
“We need to take the positives from our last two away games and put that into a performance and a first win at home on Saturday.”
The Robins have always had a loyal and vociferous following but even their patience is being tested by events on the pitch at the moment, with Millen’s men only enjoying the one victory this season – a 2-0 win at Scunthorpe nearly three weeks ago.
But the Robins boss was delighted with the support his side received at Fratton Park and he’ll be hoping that they can roar his side to victory against the League One champions on Saturday.
“Our fans were tremendous, in terms of numbers and their vocal support throughout the game at Portsmouth,” Millen added, speaking first to the club’s own website as is sadly the ‘norm’ in football these days.
“I’m sure they will have seen enough chances created to be excited on Tuesday night, albeit mixed with disappointment from another defeat. The important thing is everyone pulls together this weekend and really rallies to get this first home win.”
After the stirring 4-3 victory over Leicester in midweek, Lambert is likely to name an unchanged side for the trek west. The only possible change could see Chrissy Martin replacing Simeon Jackson after the Beccles-born striker was dropped to the bench against the Foxes.
Zak Whitbread and Steve Smith are still not considered ready for a start but as always, we’ll bring you all the latest news and views from the pre-match Colney press conference tomorrow.