Thursday, July 7th, 2016
Gary O’Neil’s eyes were drawn to one Sky Bet Championship fixture in particular when they were released two weeks ago.
The 33-year-old joined City from Norwich City in June, and will head back to Carrow Road early on in the 2016/17 campaign.
Lee Johnson’s side head to East Anglia on Tuesday, August 16th (7.45pm) before taking on fellow relegated sides Newcastle United and Aston Villa in back-to-back home games.
City also take on two of the three promoted sides - Wigan Athletic (August 6th) and Burton Albion (August 13th) - in the opening month of the season and O’Neil is looking forward to seeing where his new team are in the pecking order.
"The Norwich game has come up quite early so obviously that stands out for me,” he told Bristol City Player HD.
“The fact we play relegated and promoted teams in our first five games gives us good mixture and we can find out where we are at.”
O’Neil met up with the rest of the City squad for pre-season training on July 1st when his contract at his former club officially expired.
The experienced midfielder is undergoing his 16th pre-season as a professional and, although he admits they are more labouring at an older age, the way they are run now is more profitable.
“You used to run until someone was sick and then the fitness coach knew you’d done enough!” he joked.
“There’s a bit more to it these days but as you get old they do get a bit tougher. There’s a lot more science that goes into it now and I think it makes sense.
“You know what you’re doing, you know why you’re doing it and it’s all geared up to getting you in the right shape for the start of the season."
O'Neil’s first game in a City shirt is set to be at Hengrove Athletic this Sunday (kick-off 2pm), with tickets still available by clicking here.