Nick Hayhoe chats to Bristol Post's Gregor MacGregor ahead of this weekend's game
What’s the view from Robins’ supporters on how well your start has been?
Generally supporters are pleased with the start, given that Bristol City are in a good position in the table and have only lost twice in the league so far, one of those coming against Bournemouth on Wednesday amid bad injury problems and after a performance that probably merited a point. However, there is a little bit of concern given that the Robins have started each of the past two seasons in good form, only for it to all tail off once it comes to crunch time. Bristol City haven’t won for four games either, so they need to get back to winning ways soon.
Which players have hit the ground running this season? Who should Norwich fans be looking out for?
Former Norwich man Chris Martin has really impressed since coming in and has a healthy four assists to his name, as the striker has cleverly linked up play and unselfishly set up chances for his teammates. In defence, new captain Tomas Kalas has been outstanding recently following some time out with a shoulder injury, and he is the key man at the back for Dean Holden’s side. In midfield, Jamie Paterson has been fairly consistent at offering a threat going forward while emerging young talent Tyreeq Bakinson has surprised everyone with the strides he has made this year, gaining a regular starting spot for himself in the process. Nahki Wells and Famara Diedhiou have blown a little hot and cold so far but might be crucial for the home side’s chances on the weekend.
I noticed that former Norwich, ahem, ‘stalwart’ Marley Watkins is now at Aberdeen on loan this season. What happened there?
Watkins has suffered a few niggling injuries in his two years at Ashton Gate and though he has impressed at times when coming into the side, he was never able to cement himself into the team selection for regular game time. Bristol City have reinforced heavily in midfield and attack and Watkins is one of those who has suffered as a result, shipped off to Scotland for more starts. It’s not inconceivable that he could return in January, but it’s probably unlikely.
What would be a good season from a Bristol point of view? Are fans getting tired of constantly being midtable?
The club aspires to make the top six. For the past few years they’ve been in contention but haven’t been able to get closer than eighth in May 2019. If they have luck with injuries – not happening currently with six senior men out including four first teamers (Weimann, Mawson, Baker and Williams) – then they may go close again, though they still need a little more quality in the squad for me. The fans are definitely growing impatient and there was a lot of uproar in the summer when Lee Johnson was sacked after four years in charge and his assistant replaced him, after the club interviewed Chris Hughton, Paul Cook and others.
And what is your prediction for the game?
I go 1-2 as Norwich seem to be picking up form, and Bristol City can’t keep clean sheets. Away win.
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