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Progression Is There - Cotterill

Steve Cotterill believes his Bristol City team are progressing all the time as they find their feet in the Sky Bet Championship.

During pre-season the manager admitted it could take his troops upwards of 15 games to get used to life in English football’s second tier.

Twelve games into the Championship campaign, Cotterill believes progress is being made with a steady improvement in performances.

“I think with each game they’re getting better,” he told bcfc.co.uk.

“We’re better in new surroundings and grounds. I noticed that when the players arrived at Brighton (on Tuesday) compared to when I saw them ahead of the Birmingham game (in September).

“There have been lots of goalscorers over the years who have scored lots at home but can’t do it on the road. Why is that? Are they intimidated? Are they more comfortable in their own surroundings?

“I just think there’s a gradual process our boys are going through. Sometimes you have to progress to get results. What comes first? Is progressing going away and getting two scrappy 1-0 wins; it might help because it gives them more confidence.

“However, I’ve always said since I came here that I wanted us to play football. Look at the goal we scored at Brighton; that came from Frankie (Fielding) and they didn’t get a touch on the ball until it went into the net.

“We always have two or three meetings in the week. We’ll give them debriefs after games and prepare properly for forthcoming matches. We’ll talk to them about how they can improve and the good thing is they want to learn.

“They’re a brilliant bunch of lads to come and work with every single day. I’ve probably got more time for them this year than I did last year, even though we haven’t won as many games.

“I think our lads are playing some good football. We know where our pitfalls are and we work on them. We’re not going to get them right immediately; to do that we have to change the whole squad, bring in a new team of experienced players – older ones who cost a lot more money.

“There is progression. There will still be ups and downs as the season goes on because, for example, you could face a team like Brighton now when they’re unbeaten and flying at the top of the table, or you could meet them when they’ve lost a couple and are going through a tough time.

“You learn more about yourself and your team in adversity. But it’s also about the effort and application that they show in trying to do what you’ve asked of them.”