Liam Manning reveals post-Nottingham Forest message to Matty James amid Middlesbrough strike

The Robins secured a first Championship win of 2024 against Middlesbrough
Liam Manning guided Bristol City to a first Championship win of 2024Liam Manning guided Bristol City to a first Championship win of 2024
Liam Manning guided Bristol City to a first Championship win of 2024

Liam Manning says Matty James' goal against Middlesbrough was a moment of quality and joked that he gave the midfielder 'a bit of stick' after his wayward effort against Nottingham Forest in midweek.

James doubled City's lead against Boro with an excellent effort from the edge of the area that went in via the post, as the Robins eventually ran out 2-1 winners.

The ex-Leicester City man blazed a shot over the crossbar against Forest on Wednesday night as his side eventually were knocked out of the FA Cup on penalties.

"It was a terrific goal from Jamo," Manning told BBC Radio Bristol. "Jamo's been frustrated, I gave him a bit of stick after Wednesday night and rightly so for the chance he missed, but he showed a moment of real quality."

Jason Knight was also on the scoresheet for City, and Manning insisted that his goal was a result of the midfielder's studious nature.

"I'm delighted for him, he's got the quality and is getting into more of the areas now so his number of chances is getting higher. There's no secret to it, it's hard work, it's studying, it's improving your game and all the work we do in training, it's about transferring it onto the pitch."

City's fast start saw them 2-0 up after just 17 minutes, but as the game went on, Manning grew frustrated as his side dropped back and encouraged Boro to attack.

However, that is likely down to the heavy number of minutes that the majority of Robins players have played of late, and the ex-Oxford United boss said it was a natural thing to do.

He continued: "In the first half, I thought the plan worked well, we frustrated them and managed our regains well in terms of counterattacks. The second half is an outcome of the result and where we've been a little bit in terms of not winning too much recently.

"Second half you naturally tend to be a little bit more on the back foot and try and hold onto it but they're a good side. We’re delighted to get the win."