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Pato’s back - with a top-six target

Jamie Paterson is back and plans to make a difference as City continue their push towards the top six.

Paterson returned to action in the midweek fixture at Brentford, coming off the bench for a 20-minute cameo after a groin injury which left him sidelined for 10 weeks.

The forward comes back into the side following what was the first major injury of his professional career but the attacking midfielder is delighted to put it behind him as he sets his sights on Saturday’s Severnside derby.

WATCH JAMIE PATERSON'S FULL ROBINS TV INTERVIEW

Paterson told Robins TV: “I’m delighted. It didn’t seem that long from a fans’ point of view probably but when you’re in there, day to day in the gym it’s difficult. I’m over it now, I’m back on the pitch and I’m looking to make a difference now.

“I found it hard after a loss and I couldn’t get on the pitches to keep the spirits up, especially around the changing rooms. When you’re injured you feel quite alienated, but I tried my best to do it when I could.”

He said he “felt a bit leggy” when he came off the bench at the Brentford Community Stadium but that was only natural as he returns to fitness.

“I felt better as the game went on and I’m looking to get more minutes now. The only way to get that match fitness and sharpness is by playing so I’m ready to go,” added Paterson.

“It’s difficult to sustain a run every three games especially with niggle and injuries and you’re trying to keep the same team. It’s been difficult to get on the pitches and work on a lot of patterns of play, it’s hard but we’re three points off the play-offs and we have a massive opportunity once again.”

Paterson in action v Brentford

That opportunity sees the Bluebirds head to Ashton Gate, with City aiming to do a first league double over Cardiff for the first time since the 2002/03 season.

A win on Saturday would put more pressure on the top six and Paterson hopes to play a big part in that.

“We’ve fallen short in the last couple of years and as I’ve been here the last four or five years I’m trying to do as much as I can to push us over the line, now I’m fit hopefully I can make that difference,” he said.

“You know the fans are at home, you know they’re watching, they really want to win the Severnside derby and the Cardiff fans will be the same. It adds that little bit of spice and we do miss the fans, we miss the atmosphere which is very evident now the fans aren’t there.

“We notice the different without them but this is a massive game, Cardiff are a good side with a very good manager in Mick McCarthy, we know some of the lads that play there and it will be a difficult game.

“Every game is massive from this point. There are 19 games to go, a mini-season for us and we have players coming back from injury.

“No games are going to be pretty with everything going on, injuries and fatigue so it’s about scraping three points whenever we can, forcing our way into the top six and staying there.

“We just want to be in there at the end of the season if that goes down to the last game and we’re still in with a shout then we’ll take it.”

The Severnside derby will be streamed live on Robins TV from 2.30pm with Rene Gilmartin as the guest and co-commentator. Gerry Sweeney, one of the Ashton Gate Eight, will also appear ahead of kick-off to mark the week of the 39th anniversary since the players were forced to tear up their contracts.

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