Thursday, January 28th, 2016
John Pemberton is targeting a sharper cutting edge to his Bristol City side when they host Birmingham City at Ashton Gate on Saturday (3pm).
The interim boss has taken charge of three games so far and put the emphasis on shoring things up at the back.
The change in formation from three central defenders to an orthodox back four has paved the way for City to concede just two goals in that time.
But at the other end City have scored only once in the form of Wes Burns’ last-gasp winner against Middlesbrough a fortnight ago.
Pemberton has since added creative attacking players Ben Gladwin and Lee Tomlin to his squad and now wants to see his team pack a greater punch in the final third.
“You want to be solid and you want to be tight,” he told Bristol City Player HD.
“You don’t want games to be too open, but you’ve also got to have that little bit of quality to unlock something when the game is in the balance.
“I think we have been battling and we do look a lot more solid, but I don’t want to take away from the fact that, to win football matches, we’ve got to score goals – it’s about trying to get the balance right.”
Blues arrive in BS3 full of confidence after back-to-back 3-0 wins over promotion contenders Derby County and Ipswich Town.
Pemberton was quick to praise the work of opposite number Gary Rowett at St Andrew’s, who inherited a side fighting relegation but now has them on the fringes of the Sky Bet Championship play-off places.
“I think he’s done great,” said Pemberton of Rowett. “He did great at Burton and then took over Birmingham at a very difficult time, but he’s really turned it around.
“I have to give full credit to him and I know he’s just signed a new contract, which is fully deserved because he’s done a great job.
“They are a team that’s in good form, scoring six goals in their last two games against Ipswich and Derby, which says what kind of mood they’re in.
“They’re very well organised and a very good counter-attacking team, so we’ve got another tough game.
“They’re all tough in the position we’re in, so we’re not treating it any differently.”
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