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Win was for Mark - Cotterill

Posted: Sat 01 Mar 2014
Author: Mark Perrow
Steve Cotterill

Steve Cotterill

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Manager dedicates three points to cancer-stricken supporter.

Steve Cotterill revealed his latest victory as City boss was inspired by the dying wish of one suffering supporter.

Lifelong fan Mark Saunders wrote to the manager to reveal he was, in no uncertain terms, seeing out his final days before terminal cancer takes his life.

Mark was duly invited into the home dressing room before today’s crunch clash with Gillingham to deliver an emotional message to his heroes on what will likely be his final visit to Ashton Gate.

What followed was a rousing team talk and a moment of brilliance from Simon Gillett seven minutes from time to fittingly win the points and propel City out of the Sky Bet League One relegation zone.

“He wanted to have a little chat with the players as he didn’t feel as though he was going to see next Friday out, which puts football into a bit of perspective,” said Cotterill after the match, speaking to Bristol City Player.

“We were quite choked in the dressing room. What can you say to someone like that?

“He gave a little speech to the lads and it was more or less his dying wish that he wanted three points today, so what we want to do is dedicate that win today to Mark and his family.

“It was tough to listen to him, it’s quite emotional just thinking about it, but hopefully we’ve given him a good weekend.”

Cotterill also praised the commitment of his players, who overcame the setback of conceding another set-piece goal to run out 2-1 winners and move to within three points of visitors Gillingham, who themselves occupied a comfortable mid-table position at kick-off.

“The lads want to do well for everybody – they want to do well for the fans and they don’t make any mistakes that aren’t genuine,” he added.

“But we’ve got to learn. That’s probably about the fifth person now who has been done on a corner for an individual mistake by losing a marker and we’ve got to eradicate them as much as we can.

“Having said that, I felt we regained our composure and got hold of the ball again, we played the right football and at the end of the day there was only one team who deserved to win.”