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Mapps motoring in BS3

Adrian Mariappa is relishing life in BS3 as City embark on the second half of the campaign.

With 168 Premier League appearances and more than 200 in the Championship, the defender joined the Robins in November with an impressive CV – and plenty of fuel in the tank to add to that portfolio with a contact extension until the end of the season.

And he showed that engine in Sunday’s Emirates FA Cup Third Round victory over Portsmouth with forrays from right-back while Tomas Kalas and the returning Alfie Mawson marshalled the middle of the back four.

Mariappa told Robins TV: “When I play full-back I like to get forward, trying to help the team in the attacking phase as well. A lot of the time when I have played there, it’s to lock it up at the back which I can do as well, but when given the licence to go forward then I will go and support whoever is playing right-mid.

BS3 life
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time so far; I feel like I’ve been here a lot longer than I have! I’m really looking forward to the second half of the season and hopefully we can push on.

“I am really excited about what we can achieve. It’s been a great group since I’ve been down here, and I genuinely feel we can push on in the second half of the season and that’s the general feel around the place, within the squad as well, and it’s about achieving that on the pitch now.”

Mawson return
Mariappa was delighted to see Mawson back in the starting XI after 11 weeks out following knee surgery, saying: “Alfie is a big character around the place, you can see his quality. He is a top, top player and it’s a big boost when you have payers of that calibre coming back into the side and into the squad and it bodes well for us going forward now.”

Pompey win
City will play Millwall in the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round on the weekend of January 22nd - 25th – the Sky Bet Championship Huddersfield match will be re-arranged – following the 2-1 win over Portsmouth.  

“The Portsmouth win will give us a big boost. I think the FA Cup and all cups have potential to do that really. They’re always tough games, you see some of the results over the weekend, so it was a tough game to play in. Portsmouth are doing really well in the league and I thought it was a good performance overall and to get the win, it breeds good habits.”

Young guns
City’s younger players have seized their opportunities this season, with an average of four Academy produced players in each matchday squad.

And Mariappa has been impressed with the standards set by the likes of Tyreeq Bakinson, Antoine Semenyo (below), Zak Vyner and newly promoted Sam Bell, Sam Pearson, Zac Smith and Ryley Towler.   

“I’ve been very impressed. You can see how many injuries we’ve had and they’ve really stepped up and staked their claim for positions in the side and I think they’ve all done really well.

“I’m on them every day and every game to keep their standards up and really push them as I think they can go really far in the game and have really good careers. Their attitude and work ethic are brilliant and it’s about pushing themselves now to really have an impact.”

Preston North End next
Following the postponement of tomorrow’s match at Brentford (January 13th), City are next in action against Preston North End on Saturday, January 16th (3pm), live on Robins TV.

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