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View From The Town End: Bristol City (A)

Two weeks ago Bristol City gave us all three points but can we expect a tougher challenge today in the South West?

Ipswich Town v Bristol City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Bristol City fan Paul has once again been kind enough to share his views on his team with us, you can follow him on Twitter @theexiledrobin.

Six weeks ago Reading took a 2-1 win at the Madejski, what did you make of that game from what you saw?

I didn’t think there was a huge amount between the sides last month and the penalty decision certainly rankled with many of us who saw it clearly. I thought we showed we could hurt you and create space around the area, but we couldn’t take our chances, and, as with most recent games, conceded too easily under pressure.

At the time it seemed like you were just going through a rough patch but that defeat is now part of a run that's seen eight defeats in nine, what's going wrong?

We’re not tight enough defensively. We spend spells in most games on top and can score but, as soon as that spell finishes we see to lose belief, sit back and invite pressure and crumble a bit. I think it’s safe to say most fans think we need a new goalkeeper, right-back and someone who can break up play in the middle of the park to help strengthen.

You're six points clear of the drop zone right now, do you fear a relegation battle?

No, not really, although many do and we’ve certainly got to get ourselves out of this rut pretty quickly. The reason I’m still optimistic we won’t struggle is that we have only really been outplayed completely in one game (against Brighton) and only in that game have we lost by more than one goal. We’re in with a chance of getting the result in most games so at some point that's bound to happen (won't it?!) but we’ve got to stop allowing pressure to build so quickly.

What needs to be done in January?

We spent a fair bit of money and signed a lot of players with potential in the summer but many clearly aren't seen as good enough for the first team yet. But right now we’re in need of some experience, someone to go around the pitch and lift heads and spirits when we’re not on top. Off the top of my head I’d like to sign a goalkeeper, a right-back, a truly defensive midfielder and another striker, but realistically we’re only likely to pick up a couple so it’ll be interesting to see what Johnson and CEO Mark Ashton can achieve.

Do you think Reading will end the season in the top six?

You’re looking good but I guess the danger to the current top six is Derby and Villa both coming up fast and looking to replace a couple of those teams. Newcastle and Brighton look set for the top two and there are probably seven teams likely to be scrapping for the play-off spots.

Score prediction?

This may surprise many, but I’ve got a feeling we’ll win. We really, really need it not only for our position, but to ease the pressure and the fans arguments and hopefully the players, the staff and the supporters will pull together and produce one of those battling, passionate performances that you need in this position.

I’ll go with 2-1.

Finally, any advice for Reading fans heading to Ashton Gate.

I’d say you can now get there early and enjoy the facilities. Since the redevelopment there’s a lot of street-food type vans around the perimeter doing great, tasty food, they have live music most weeks and if you want to watch the televised games before and/or afterwards, we have the country’s biggest TV screen to watch it on and enjoy a cider and some good quality food.