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‘We’re fit and raring to go’ – Paterson ready for Championship return

Jamie Paterson says City remain focused on the job at hand with the Sky Bet Championship season set resume after a three-month absence this weekend.

Paterson and his teammates face Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park on Saturday (June 20th, 3pm), which will be the first competitive fixture since the Robins hosted Fulham on March 7th.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought elite sport to a halt but with lockdown forcing people to stay at home, the players continued to work on their fitness from the comfort of their own homes. Training, though not as players were used to, eventually returned while contact was allowed further down the line, all before the EFL announced the Championship was able to resume.

After months of questions, speculation and uncertainty, Paterson said he was “excited and happy” to get back to work, with that first of nine scheduled competitive fixtures taking place on Saturday.

The match will be streamed via Robins TV, complete with a pre-match show, half-time analysis and post-match reaction to Season Card holders. A £10 matchday pass is also offered to non-Season Card holders for all games not selected for Sky Sports coverage over the remaining scheduled league matches.

The Robins travel to Blackburn seventh in the league standings, one point off the play-off positions, with their hosts Rovers just two places behind them.

Paterson said: “I wouldn’t say [it is] a fresh start, we know where we are in the league and what we still need to do, all the hard work the lads have done all season will stand us in good stead. We’re still in the same season and we have a lot to play for. We’re all ready and raring to go.

“It should be a good game, we know they (Blackburn) are not far behind us in the league and they’re going for the play-offs as well. It’s going to be a good game and hopefully we can get out on top.”

Paterson speaks to the media via a Zoom call

"We know where we are in the league and what we still need to do, all the hard work the lads have done all season will stand us in good stead. We’re still in the same season and we have a lot to play for. We’re all ready and raring to go."

Jamie Paterson

The whole squad have been back together for some time in preparation for football’s return but while the players remained focus on individual focus from their own homes during lockdown, Paterson spoke of how he had missed the camaraderie and day-to-day routine.

“You miss the banter, the laughs and seeing the lads every day,” he said. “You make friends in football, you get used to seeing them every day. It’s difficult being at home without a sort of purpose or a game at the weekend to reward all the running you’ve done in the week but we’ve been working hard, we had a hard schedule and now we’re fit and raring to go.”

The rest of the season is being played behind closed doors, meaning there is no public access for supporters at any of the remaining fixtures. It means Robins TV will be the go-to platform to see City in action over the course of the following nine matches.

Paterson, who has been on the scoresheet three times sine his return from loan in January, encourages supporters to tune into the stream to support the Robins. He said: “You can be a fan from home and knowing they are all there on Robins TV, we want to impress as always. If I was a supporter I’d be there, knee sliding in the living room if we score a last-minute winner, so hopefully we get to do that for the fans.”

And as for the new look, Paterson says his hair could be about to get even longer…

“I’m starting to like,” he admitted, with no access to the barbers due to the lockdown. Ed [in the media department] has been giving me some stick but everyone else has given me positive comments. I might grow it and see how I go. If I don’t play it after the first game I might have to have a hair cut!”

 

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