‘It’s nothing more than you want to see in a derby’ - Bristol City coach’s verdict on win over Cardiff City

Nigel Pearson’s right-hand man had his say on Bristol City’s Severnside Derby win over Cardiff City

Bristol City assistant manager Curtis Fleming says winning the midfield battle and the performance of the attacking three was pivotal in the win over Cardiff City.

After coming under some Cardiff pressure, Tommy Conway scored his fourth goal of the campaign as he lived the Ashton Gate dream, netting against one of the Robins’ fiercest rivals.

This was after an opportunity that Conway had almost scored from in the early knockings of the match, where he fired an early warning to the Bluebirds.

Centre-back Rob Atkinson then added a second goal to ensure that Nigel Pearson’s side would claim back-to-back league wins at an early point of the season.

“Yes, I think it was,” was Fleming’s answer when he responded to a question whether winning in the midfield area contributed to today’s win.

“If you look at most of the games recently, our front two stroke three with Andi (Weimann) have caused people problems with their dynamism.

“The two front men set the stone with their closing down. I know Cardiff have changed the way they play and it’s been very good for them. They played some good stuff and cut us up a few times today and making those wrong decisions.

He added: “We knew that the midfield battle was going to be huge in like in most Championship games.

“You need the guys to believe in the direction that has been given to them in what our game plan was going to be.

“I thought they did great in there today but to a man everybody gave it a right go, it’s nothing more than you want to see in a derby game when you take your chances, you’re clinical and you punish people.”

It was from scouting visits to Luton Town games that Fleming had looked at the set-piece danger of Kal Naismith, which led to his arrival at Ashton Gate.

In a role of centre-back, assuming role when attacking them is to be in the six-yard box attacking them, but the Scotland international is instead on all set piece duty.

Naismith delivered corner-kicks and was successful today in finding Atkinson in the right place to header home.

He said: “You know him as well as I do. We have seen it against us last season when I went to a few games last season and saw his quality. He’s a leader, there is a lot more to him. He’s a talker, he’s a leader and he demands from people.

“I think with the environment in what we’re trying to get with young players is where it’s led by the oldler players. They are the guys who set the standards in the dressing room. Kal has been as good off the pitch as he has on it.”