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Cotterill Pleased To Overcome Vale Test

Steve Cotterill admitted he was pleased to come through the visit of Port Vale to Ashton Gate unscathed after seeing his side open up a four-point lead at the top of Sky Bet League One.

Goals from Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Joe Bryan and Matt Smith ensured City ran out 3-1 victors and cashed in on away defeats for closest challengers MK Dons and Swindon Town.

But Cotterill revealed he had been wary of the threat posed by Vale following the excursions of his players in the goalless draw at Stadium:MK only three days prior.

“I always thought this was going to be a tough game tonight on the back of everything that happened at MK Dons with the build-up and the game itself,” the manager told Bristol City Player.

“It’s always very difficult when you come off the back of a really big game with the emotions and the energy of the players.

“I thought we started a little bit sloppy, but some of our passing in the second half and the way we got out of some tight areas was really good.

“Whilst we’ve played some fantastic football, there’s always been the hard work and we’ve got to make sure we keep that work ethic because all top teams to work hard.

“I’m disappointed with their goal because I would’ve liked a clean sheet, but I’m not quite sure we’d have deserved a clean sheet.

“I think with their goal at the end we had dropped off by the time 3-0 had happened and we thought we’d save a little bit of energy by then.

“But our goals were really good goals and some of our passing and movement was fantastic – we just didn’t do that enough.

“We’re pleased with the three points because Port Vale have done well of late and it was always going to be an awkward game for us.”

Cotterill later added Derrick Williams was substituted in the second half as a precaution against a minor groin complaint, while Aaron Wilbraham missed the game after having an injection in his hip.

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