Steve Cotterill is hopeful that Bristol City’s 2-0 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final success against Walsall can help push his side to promotion from Sky Bet League 1.The Robins sit top of the League 1 standings, 10 points clear with eight games to go, and had a weekend off from their busy Football League schedule to compete in the Trophy Final, which they won with goals from Aden Flint and Mark Little.
In doing so, they became the first club to lift the Football League Trophy three times and they’ll now turn their attention to securing a return to the Sky Bet Championship.
In his post-match press conference, Cotterill said: “We started off this season saying we wanted to win the league. We haven’t hid from that. That’s the main one - they key one for me.
“We’ve some good games to play, starting next week with an important game at home to Barnsley, but I think our league form has been kept going by our run in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and in the FA Cup.
“Now we’ve ended up winning the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Wembley, and hopefully that can push us to finish the season off.
“Days like today will make this a memorable season, as long as we finish the job that we started back in July when we came back after pre-season.”
Cotterill’s men were in front at Wembley after only 15 minutes when Flint headed home at the back post from a corner, and they doubled their lead early in the second half through Little.
Little, who plays as a wing-back in the Robins’ impressive 3-5-2 system, was a 2014 Trophy winner with Peterborough United, and Cotterill believes the experience of this year’s Trophy final is important in the careers of many of his players.
“One thing the boys have experienced today is that 30 to 40 minutes of euphoria at the final whistle. I think it’s really, really important that if you’re a young manager or a young player that you get to feel that early in your career. If you could bottle it, you’d want a bit of that every day; it’s fantastic.
“The planning and preparation went exactly how we wanted it to go. There was evil surprises for the players, which was important. The players executed a plan and I though they were really, really good in the game.
“I was pleasantly surprised by our young players today, I thought they were fantastic, and to play it in front of 72,000 people - what turnout that was from both clubs.
“I thought we were worthy winners. There needs to be a mention of Walsall because they’ve come here and participated in what I felt was a really good game of football, played in the right way. I hope they do well over the rest of the season, apart from the last day against us of course.”