‘Mugged’ - Curtis Fleming’s frank verdict on Bristol City’s defeat to Stoke

Curtis Fleming on the touchline at Ashton Gate Curtis Fleming on the touchline at Ashton Gate
Curtis Fleming on the touchline at Ashton Gate
Curtis Fleming shared his thoughts on Bristol City’s late defeat

Curtis Fleming says Bristol City feel as if they've been mugged following Stoke City’s dramatic fightback from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Ashton Gate on Saturday.

Two early goals from Sam Bell and Nahki Wells put the hosts in control of the contest, but Mehdi Leris’ bullet reduced the Robins’ lead before the break.

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The Potters came out quickly in the second half as Sean Haksabanovic fired the visitors in front, and after long spells of home pressure on the visiting goal, Alex Neil’s side did well to manoeuvre a rare breakaway into a goalscoring chance.

Bae Jun-ho fired across goal and teenager Nathan Lowe slotted into an empty net with the clock ticking down to complete the comeback.

Fleming said: “We’re really frustrated, we feel like we've been mugged a little bit. We were speaking downstairs and Nige would say that same, that we mugged ourselves. We made a few really good situations but weren’t clinical enough.”

The hosts went close to finding a winner through Kal Naismith and Harry Cornick, and the assistant manager admitted that he always believed the Robins would go on to take all three points.

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“Through the game, I always thought we were going to win it, I thought we were on the front foot, that we were going to create something,” he said.

“But we got a kick in the teeth today due to our bad defending, I think it was poor from us. Even for them to get into that position to score the winner, something’s wrong, but we can’t dwell on it.”

The Robins face a trip to Rotherham United on Wednesday, followed by an away match against Leeds United.

Fleming continued: “I think when we went two up we took our foot off the pedal a little bit, got a little bit to comfortable, although we still wanted to play with that intensity.

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“We went into half time at 2-1 and we discussed it and then we gave a goal away straight away. It's a frustration, it’s like the feeling that we had a couple of seasons ago. But, I think we’re in a better place to handle it.”

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