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19 February 2021

Ahead of our Sky Bet Championship clash with Bristol City this weekend, Valérien Ismaël insists that he and his team are continuing to take it one game at a time, refusing to look any further than the next fixture.

The Reds travel to Ashton Gate in fine fettle, winning their last two matches and are also unbeaten in four league outings as they have climbed to 10th in the table.

“We are focused on one by one, and this is a good thing,” said Ismaël. “You can’t look at the schedule because you will get a headache, so you have to keep the focus on the next game every time. The guys have done it well so far, and we stay focused on what we have to do.

“In between the games, the guys have to recover and we do everything that we can do to be ready to perform. So far, we have managed the situation well and we have more experience now to manage the time between games and that’s why we are confident.”

The Robins are in somewhat of a downward spiral having lost six consecutive matches in all competitions – including a 6-0 drubbing at Watford prior to their midweek defeat against Reading.

City have since parted company with Dean Holden following that poor run of form which has seen them pick up just nine points from 13 games since mid-December, dropping out of play-off contention to 14th.

“For sure, they need a reaction but the good thing with us is that we are prepared now,” continued Ismaël. “Since I’ve been here, we’ve played against a lot of teams, a lot of build-up, a lot of formations and a lot of ways to play football and we are prepared. On Saturday, we will be ready to compete.

“Now, I feel that on the sideline it’s more motivation and less about tactics. If we do it at half-time, the guys know exactly what they have to do.”

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