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League One

Standards have slipped - Bristol City boss Steve Cotterill

8 February 2014

Steve Cotterill admitted Bristol City are in need of a major overhaul after a 1-1 draw at Oldham Athetlic saw them fall back into the relegation zone.

Oldham went ahead after five minutes when Danny Philliskirk scored his 11th goal of the season with a stunning drive from 25 yards.

But City levelled five minutes later as Oldham failed to clear Bobby Reid's corner and defender Aden Flint pounced to hook in the loose ball.

There were few real chances in a game ruined by strong winds, with Philliskirk and Gary Harkins going closest for the home side and visiting striker Tyrone Barnett forcing a rare save from Oldham keeper Mark Oxley.

Flint could have snatched a late winner for City but his close-range header flashed wide of the far post to leave his manager labelling the Robins' rebuilding as a a long-term project.

Cotterill said: "You are always chasing wins and obviously we wanted to win this one, but you have to bear in mind where the club has been heading for the last few years.

"Standards have slipped during those years and it takes time to turn all of that around.

"I suppose I'm pleased with a draw, but I'm not very patient and if we had done a few things better we could have won the game.

"We should have got a tackle in to stop the shot for Oldham's goal, so the players know my views about that. It was one of those days when the wind played havoc and it was difficult to get any sort of rhythm.

"Both sides tried to play football and I was happier with some of our play in the second half - there were a couple of great moves which would have led to excellent goals if we'd finished them off."

Oldham manager Lee Johnson was unhappy with City's equaliser, claiming visiting defender Adam El-Abd committed a foul when the corner was being taken.

Johnson said: "We have conceded similar goals a couple of times recently, but referees need to understand the game better.

"El-Abd was more of a grappler than a footballer, but he got away with it quite a few times.

"The timing of their goal wasn't great because, after getting an early goal, you always hope it will be the catalyst to kick on.

"We huffed and puffed in the second half. We dominated territorially, but actual goalscoring opportunities were at a premium.

"If we are going to have serious ambitions, we need to do more in the final third and show a bit more quality.

"Having said that, I'm not too disappointed because the conditions made it very tough and earlier in the season we might have lost that game.

"We've taken seven points from our last four games and we've got our best squad since I came to the club, so we need to keep progressing from here."


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