‘It’s very worrying...’ - Former Bristol City man reacts to defeat to Sunderland

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The former Bristol City midfielder turned scout and now pundit gave his verdict on the frustrating 3-2 defeat to Sunderland

Former Bristol City midfielder Gary Owers has said ‘it’s very worrying’ the amount of goals they have conceded in their two games.

The Robins have already shipped five - more than anybody in the division - which has them rooted second from bottom in the Championship table.

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City conceded two against Hull City last week in their first game of the campaign, one being from the penalty spot and then a late deflected strike.

Against Sunderland, they conceded first before getting themselves into a winning position but later shipped two goals in what was a frustrating day at a sold out Ashton Gate.

Appearing on BBC Radio Bristol as a pundit, his assessment of the game was: “They were confident in the first-half. I mean they took chances, Kal Naismith got punished for giving the ball away and being closed down.

“They passed it out from the back in the first-half through midfield. They got their attacking players on the ball, Scott was on the ball and they had Weimann (Weimann) in the game.

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In the second-half they couldn’t get any solid possession, they couldn’t build up any play. They didn’t control any of the game in the second-half and Sunderland just kept grinding them down.

“It’s disappointing again to concede three goals at home on the opening home game of the season. Five goals in two games is very worrying.”

The score had been level at the break with a goalpiece as Ellis Simms’ debut goal was cancelled out by last season’s top scorer Andi Weimann.

Despite a nervous start, once they got themselves back on level terms they started to control the game and created plenty of attacking opportunities, whilst also dominating possession.

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City then early in the second period took the lead through experienced striker Chris Martin, who scored with a scruffy finish.

But after letting Simms score their second with Zak Vyner left for dead, they could only watch on as the third goal went in.

Coming from City’s right where Sunderland had targeted, Alex Pritchard was able to deliver the perfect cross for Ross Stewart to head home.

“In the first half with City there was some patient build-up at times,” Owers added. “They were really punished in the second-half and never really got going.

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“You’d have thought that goal from Chris Martin would have really spurred them on and get themselves ahead coming back from a goal down.

“The performance just didn’t materialise and Sunderland got stronger, they got City on the back foot defending in their own half.

“Jack Clarke did really well in the second-half for Sunderland and once again City were punished.

“He (Daniel Bentley) made a terrific safe, Simms was a threat and he took his two goals well. Look at the third goal, the winning goal.

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“Can you stop the cross in the first instance? When the cross comes in you have to make sure you get your head on the ball first. It’s a pretty bog standard ball into an area, middle of the six-yard box and you expect that to be headed clear.

“Simms was red hot wasn’t he? He got his two goals, he thought he got his third and hat-trick but for a fantastic save from Dan Bentley.

“They got in and ran on the blind side a couple of times in behind Zak and got in a couple of times. They were a threat and the two forwards have won the game for them.”

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