Sunday, February 7th, 2016
Wade Elliott believes Bristol City’s battle-hardened players called upon their big match experience to grind out a crucial victory at the home of fellow Sky Bet Championship strugglers Charlton Athletic.
Lee Tomlin’s 21st minute penalty proved to be the difference at The Valley in a closely-fought contest in which clear chances were few and far between.
Elliott, who led the team to a League One and Johnstone’s Paint Trophy double as captain last season, thinks the ability to cope with pressure at both ends of the table was clear to see in South East London.
“In the build-up we didn’t underplay the importance of it – it’s a big, big win for us that lifts us out of the bottom three,” he told Bristol City Player HD.
“It reflects the efforts the players have put in and I think on the balance of the game we probably deserved it.
“We looked resolute and picked the right times to play and when not to play, and we looked a threat on the counter.
“We managed the game very well and limited them to not too many opportunities.
“They’re better players and they’re a better group for the experience they’ve had at this level.
“The one thing we’ve tried to reiterate to them is that as a group of players for the last two years all they’ve been involved in is pressure games.
“I don’t think there’s a better equipped group to cope with the situation we’re in, and I think you’re seeing the fruits of that now.”
The big story in the lead up to kick-off surrounded the appointment of Lee Johnson as City’s new head coach on a three-and-a-half-year deal, but Elliott was insistent that the players were not affected by the announcement.
“In all honesty there was no real talk about it,” he added. “The players obviously knew what was going on, but everybody was so focused on the importance of the game that they wouldn’t allow anything to detract from that.
“I think you could see it out on the pitch – they were very, very professional about it, went about their business and got the result, which was the most important thing.”