TITLE WIN HAS COTTERILL GETTING THE DRINKS IN
A draw enough for the Robins
STEVE Cotterill urged his celebrating players to drink it all in after watching them clinch Bristol’s first title success in 60 years.
The manager was more than happy to lift the alcohol ban he imposed after the 6-0 midweek win at Bradford City had made sure of promotion.
“The lads will have a couple of days off now. I won’t be anywhere near them so I hope they have a good time,” said Cotterill.
“We only had tea and orange juice on the journey home from Bradford because there was still a job to be done and we desperately wanted to finish top, having been up there almost all of the season.
“It would have been wrong to celebrate, but now the lads can let their hair down. They deserve it because they have been magnificent as a group all season.
“If everything falls into place it is not beyond this club to reach the Premier League.The fans have been through some tough times and I am delighted for them.
“I am very happy myself, but not the sort to leap up and down. I might have two cups of tea instead of one tonight.”
Both sides had chances in an even first half. Frank Nouble just cleared the Bristol crossbar with a fierce 25yard drive in only the third minute.
Derrick Williams should have headed the hosts in front from Luke Freeman’s 11th-minute corner, but the defender could only direct his effort over the bar when unmarked six yards out.
Williams also had a low shot blocked from Joe Bryan’s cut-back before Coventry almost went in front. John Fleck’s volley from the edge of the box was well saved by Frank Fielding, diving to his left.
Grant Ward flashed a shot wide from distance for the Sky Blues before Bristol had a strong penalty claim rejected for Reda Johnson’s clumsy challenge on Kieran Agard.
The second half saw James Tavernier have a shot blocked for Bristol, while Nick Proschwitz fired narrowly over with a 30-yard free-kick.
Proschwitz almost won it for Coventry in injury time with a shot that flashed wide, shortly after Freeman had gone close for Bristol.The visitors were well served by their centre-back partnership of Johnson and Matt Pennington, who kept close tabs on the dangerous strike force of Aaron Wilbraham and Agard.
Coventry boss Tony Mowbray was generous in praise of Cotterill’s men: “We have come to the best team in the league and almost done enough to nick all three points,” he said.
“All credit to Steve for winning promotion by playing positive
attacking football. They fully deserve to be champions, while we still have work to do to make sure of staying in the division.
“We managed to restrict them without being defensive and had chances to win the game. We have been pretty good away from home in recent weeks and it’s another performance to build on.
“The lads are disappointed because a few shots flashed wide or brought good saves. It was a difficult game for Bristol emotionally and we had to do our best to capitalise.
“In the end both sides were happy with a point and we move on.We just have to be careful not to jump the gun with believing we are safe just yet.”
Referee David Coote incensed both teams by showing six yellow cards, four of them to Coventry players, in a match that was never more than competitive.
A mini pitch invasion at the final whistle was soon cleared and Cotterill and his players returned from the dressing room to share the celebrations in the stands.
STAR MAN REDA JOHNS
FIGHT: Tavernier and Stokes