Reds boss optimistic
Reds Manager Keith Hill met with the media this morning ahead of Saturday’s trip to face big-spenders Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.
“Hopefully we can match them with respect to our energy, our efforts,” said Hill.
“We’ve got to be stress-free and fear-free. I’m looking for bravery.
“Looking at the opposition and what they’ve got, they’ve got massive threats and we’ll have to deal with them.
“If you look at the squad of players that they’ve got, whoever they bring in and whoever they play, players are playing for their place.”
Midfield duo David Perkins (hamstring) and Jacob Mellis (dead leg) are doubtful for the clash with the former having returned to training this week.
“Jacob Mellis is an injury concern,” Hill added. “He’s got a bad dead leg. We’ll have to see how he recovers and we’ve had a bit of sickness. Today we’ll take stock and see where we are.
“He’s (David Perkins) near. He’s trained this week, but it could be too soon this weekend.”
As for confidence in the dressing room, Hill is confident in his squad’s ability to ‘bounce back’.
“The mood in the camp is okay,” he continued. “I’ve been in this situation as a player and there’s solidarity in the camp. We’ve got good players with good values.
“Some players thrive, some players don’t.”
“Maybe we’re going to bounce this weekend, so that’s what I’m looking forward to. I’m looking forward to the possibility of bouncing with the players playing fear-free because I put an expectation on players to go out and produce.
“When you consider Bristol City and their playing budget is £18.6million in the Championship, two points behind us, that’s the magnitude of our test.
“The gap between ourselves and Birmingham is retrievable if we start winning games. We can’t rely on other football clubs.
“Anything is possible. I just want the players to express themselves in a workmanlike manner and hold their heads high. If we’re successful or defeated on the day, we’ve got to be responsible.
“With a little bit of grit and determination and a whole lot of lady luck against a team that a lot of pundits saw as favourites for automatic promotion and probably still are.
“We’re going through a transitional period and while we’re doing that, we have to retain our Championship status.”