Liam Manning reveals missing ingredient in Bristol City's FA Cup stalemate with Nottingham Forest and makes new transfer admission

Bristol City earned a replay against Nottingham Forest
Liam Manning applauds the Bristol City fans after their draw against Nottingham ForestLiam Manning applauds the Bristol City fans after their draw against Nottingham Forest
Liam Manning applauds the Bristol City fans after their draw against Nottingham Forest

Liam Manning says Bristol City were missing conviction in their goalless FA Cup fourth round draw against Nottingham Forest on Friday.

The Robins have now found the net just three times in their last seven matches in all competitions, as their ruthlessness continues to be their achilles heel.

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Tommy Conway, Jason Knight and Sam Bell all had opportunities for the hosts, but Manning's side were unable to forge a breakthrough against their Premier League opponents. “The lads are quite frustrated in the changing room, a bit disappointed which I get, and I quite like that to be fair," Manning said.

"The biggest bit is the behaviours we showed. The intensity, competitiveness, bravery to go and be us, especially the first half, and the control we had, we would've liked to create a little bit more but we were against high-level opposition so I think it's another experience ticked off with lots of positives."

Despite their dominance in spells, City failed to register a shot on target in the 90 minutes.

Conway was often left to feed off scraps which has become a trend of late, and it was that final bit of quality that prevented City from progressing into the fifth round on the night.

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“A bit of composure in the box (was missing), a little bit of conviction, calmness, sometimes you get close to their goal and panic and rush, I think it's that final bit, that bit of coolness that you need," Manning said.

"We got into some really good areas, Anis especially down the left side first half. I thought we caused real problems. I know Nahki’s annoyed that Pringy didn’t let the ball run through his legs, Belly had a good opportunity... It's the final bit."

The Robins completed the loan signing of Scott Twine from Burnley last week to combat their problems at the top end of the pitch, and Manning has been bullish about bringing in another forward body.

However, the manager gave a short and definitive answer when asked whether they were any closer to adding to the squad. "No… Not yet, no," He said.

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The draw means City will have to squeeze another fixture into their already hectic schedule over the next few weeks, and will get a chance to progress into the fifth round at the City Ground.

Manning, though, was focused on his sides display and result first and foremost. "The biggest bit for me is understanding how we’ve done it," he said.

"Confidence is a weird one, you can sometimes get too high or low, it's about the sweet spot and the big bit for me tonight is learning what allowed us to control the game the way we did.

"That allows us to create more chances and convert that control into goalscoring opportunities, the fact that we've done that against a Premier League side shows that we can do it."

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