O'Neil delighted to be back
Posted: Wednesday, February 14th 2018
Friday, February 16th 2018
City know exactly where there went wrong last weekend and are "desperate" to make amends at Leeds United, says Jamie McAllister.
They let slip a 3-0 half-time lead against Sunderland last Saturday, with the Black Cats fighting to secure a draw at Ashton Gate.
The hours have gone in at the training ground this week, as the Robins look for ways to put things right when they take on Leeds United in the Sky Bet Championship on Sunday (February 18th, 4.30pm kick-off).
The Whites currently sit 11th, eight points and five league places behind City.
Reflecting on the weekend's draw, assistant head coach McAllister told BCTV: "It was tough to take after the game. Everyone was very disappointed after being 3-0 ahead, we looked comfortable to win the game. To lose three goals to finish 3-3 was very disappointing.
"We reviewed the game video on Monday with the players and they gave good feedback. I watched it back on Saturday and Sunday but we shared the same views on what we could have done better.
"It’s good everyone is on the same page. We spoke about how we can put things right and not make those mistakes again.
"Training has since been excellent, the boys’ attitude has been excellent and they are desperate to get back on the pitch and get the three points on Sunday."
Leeds ran out winners at the Gate in the reverse fixture, but they are currently eight games without victory and have a new manager in former Barnsley boss, Paul Heckingbottom.
And former City defender McAllister says the squad can take advantage of their host's situation.
"They started the season very well and were a top-six side but they have struggled in their last eight games," McAllister said.
"Paul makes his first home game on Sunday so we need to silence their crowd early on and start well.
"They are a good side with good players. They are fluid going forward, they have good wide players in (Pablo) Hernandez and (Ezgjan) Alioski and a physical threat up top in (Pierre-Michel) Lasogga. (Adam) Forshaw is a good player, (Kalvin) Phillips and (Eunan) O'Kane in the middle of the park are good players, so it will be a tough game."
Nathan Baker will serve the last of his three-game suspension for City, while Leeds will play without the likes of Samuel Saiz, Gaetano Berardi and Liam Cooper - all suspended.
When asked if that could give City an edge on Sunday, McAllister replied: "Yes, they have a few suspensions. We have injuries and a suspension as well but it is all about Sunday.
"It’s 11v11 on the pitch; who turns up and who makes fewer errors...we are confident our group can cause them problems.
"(Stuart) Dallas could play right-back for them, who is not a natural full-back, so they have a change there but they have signed good players in the transfer window and they have quality across their team."
The assistant head coach also watched from the sidelines on Tuesday night, where he witnessed midfielder Gary O'Neil's first competitve game of football for six months.
The 34-year-old enjoyed an hour on the pitch with the Under 23s, as he helped them secure a place in the knockout rounds of the Premier League Cup with a 1-0 win against Liverpool.
After being singled out for praise by assistant Under-23s coach Alex Ball, McAllister said: "The Under-23s did well against a good Liverpool team, it was a good 1-0 win for them.
"Gaz looked good, he looked fit and he has quality and experience. It was good to see him after six months out. He has to keep building on his fitness now and progress."
He added O'Neil could be in City's first team plans if "there are no setbacks, if he keeps training well and working hard".
"It’s up to him to go and impress the manager, to force the issue to get himself back into the first team. But I thought he did very well on Tuesday night," said McAllister.
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