This Saturday sees what no-one is calling the 'cross-country battle of the birds' as in-form Norwich head to (results-wise) out of form Bristol City. That doesn't tell full story though as the Robins ride high in the Championship and are a home win away from the League Cup final. Andrew Lawn spoke to Joseph Iles from the 'One Stream in Bristol' podcast to find out more.
Andy - First question, you were desperately unlucky on Tuesday night in the Carabao Cup semi first leg, how much do you think that will have taken out of you ahead of Saturday?
Joseph - I can’t speak for the players, but my best guess is that they will be disappointed to have come so close and will be keen to make up for it.
As for the fans, I can’t really remember a time when we’ve been so positive after four straight defeats. There won’t be a frosty atmosphere at Ashton Gate this weekend for sure so there’ll be no away advantages in that regard.
Well that’s a shame. So if you had to choose one or t’other; win the League Cup or win promotion?
Promotion by a mile, the Premier League has been the goal for as long as I can remember.
Winning the League Cup would obviously be a fantastic achievement, and a great world stage to get our name out there, but the Prem is the Prem.
It may be because we have been in the Prem recently, but I would go the other way. It’s a league that is sold as “the dream” but the reality isn’t that much fun. To be in with a shout of either is a big turnaround and Lee Johnson has you flying this season but was under a lot of pressure this time last year, what's the story?
There seemed to be a lot of problems off the pitch. Lee Tomlin is a name that sticks out as seeming to have a pretty negative influence in the dressing room.
A lot of fans were unhappy because we started the season well and dropped off towards Christmas, but none of the games we were winning early on were particularly convincing and we rode our luck a bit.
Personally, I just don’t think the team were ready to play the style of football the manager wanted them to so early on. We made a lot of signings the summer before who were very young and didn’t have much Championship experience, it just took time for them all to find their feet and have done so spectacularly.
That sounds A LOT like where we are at the moment under our new management. On that point, What, if anything have you made of Norwich under Farke?
I have to be honest, I don’t know an awful lot about you under Farke.
Looking at the results it seems like a bit of a mixed bag. I have been surprised to see you not challenging the play-off positions. I’ve always seen you as a bit of a Prem yo-yo club so it’s odd to see you at the other end of the table.
Back to your City, who are your star men?
Well, we have a few injured at the moment. But for Saturday, Aiden Flint and Joe Bryan. They’ve been excellent all season and we’ll be lucky to keep hold of them in the summer/January.
I’d also keen an eye on Bobby Reid. He’s been a bit quiet in the last month or so, but in the last few games he’s bagged a couple, including the pen against Man City. I could see him getting a goal.
How in love with Korey Smith are you on a scale of 1-76?
A strong 71.
That’s perfectly fair. Finally can we have a prediction for Saturday?
We’ll be looking to galvanise on a lot of positive energy at the moment. I’m going Bristol City win 2-0.
I think we might surprise you and take advantage of some tired minds and weary legs, so let’s go 1-0 Norwich