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We Had To Strike First - Cotterill

Steve Cotterill rued Bristol City’s failure to strike first after seeing his side slip to a 3-0 defeat at the home of Sky Bet Championship strugglers Rotherham United.

Cotterill’s men were the dominant force early on, enjoying three sights of goal in the first four minutes, but fell behind courtesy of Jonson Clarke-Harris’ tenth minute opener.

Thereafter the Millers were happy to sit deep and the City boss had no qualms with the decision to award the hosts a penalty from which Clarke-Harris blasted his second.

Kieran Agard had chances to score against his old club either side of the spot-kick, but opportunities were at a premium in the second half before Lee Frecklington completed the scoring 15 minutes from time.

“We didn’t want them to get the first goal because I knew they would make the game stop-start and we couldn’t get any rhythm,” Cotterill told Bristol City Player HD.

“That first goal was a bitter one and made it extremely difficult for us.

“We talked about their strikers being left footed and wanting to come inside and shoot, but we haven’t stopped the shot and next thing it’s in the back of our net.

“We were the better team but they’ve scored against the run of play. That’s given them a bit of fight and something to hold on to.

“If Kieran scores when he’s clean through, and he scores his header just before half-time, it’s a different game.

“We’re disappointed with our mental capacity at 2-0 down, because we’ve started to thread balls into their back eight when there was no space.

“There was an embarrassment of space for Elliott Bennett on the right-hand side but we didn’t make the most of it, and that’s come back to haunt us.

“We ended up losing the game 3-0 despite being the better football team, and that’s the disappointing part about it.

“Unfortunately that’s what happens at this level – when the opposition get chances, they score.”