Saturday, January 16th, 2016
John Pemberton paid tribute to Bristol City’s local core after overseeing a dramatic late victory over Sky Bet Championship league leaders Middlesbrough at Ashton Gate.
Academy product Wes Burns – joined by Joe Bryan and Bobby Reid in Pemberton’s starting XI – was the hero, getting the final touch on Aden Flint’s goalbound header six minutes into added time to deny Boro a tenth straight clean sheet in league action.
The interim boss believes Burns’ perfect timing was doubly significant in the wake of some decisive late goals being conceded in recent weeks.
“That’s a monkey off our back – it’s about time the tables were turned,” Pemberton told Bristol City Player HD.
“We had them under pressure in the second half but we just couldn’t get on the end of stuff.
“For Wes to get the goal was great, because one of the things I wanted to do today was put three Academy lads in the team, and I thought they were magnificent – all three of them.
“Whether they can go again on Tuesday, we’ll have to have a look at that.”
Pemberton has been placed in temporary charge of the first team alongside Under-21 boss Wade Elliott following Steve Cotterill’s departure on Thursday night.
“It’s been a tough week,” he added. “It was just a matter of trying to pick the lads up after the news we had the other day.
“We just wanted to get the team organised and have a solid foundation from which to go from.
“I don’t think Richard (O’Donnell) has had a shot to save. He’s had a couple of crosses to deal with but that’s about it.
“The players were unbelievable in terms of their discipline and put an unbelievable shift in, as they have done all season.
“They haven’t quite got what they’ve deserved on some occasions; we need a little bit of luck and we got that luck today, but I think we deserved to win it in the end.
“The support at the end was good. It was a bit subdued at the start, as it would be, but at the end it was absolutely rocking, and it’s great for the lads to see that.
“We’re not getting carried away with that because we wanted to get out of the bottom three today and it hasn’t quite gone for us, so we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”
Pemberton revealed Derrick Williams and Nathan Baker were substituted with cramp and a swollen black eye respectively, but neither are thought to be serious injuries.
The 51-year-old vowed to “carry on doing what I’m doing until told otherwise” as the search for Cotterill’s successor continues.