Bristol City head coach Lee Johnson has told the official club website that captain Korey Smith is an injury doubt for this weekend’s Severnside Derby at home to Cardiff City. He has a 50/50 chance of recovering from a foot injury which kept him out of their previous game.
Speaking on opponents Cardiff, Johnson accepts that they have ‘Premier League quality’ players but despite that fact, he is anticipating a tight encounter at Ashton Gate.
The former Barnsley boss providing a wide range of team news ahead of Saturday lunchtime’s game. Revealing that although Smith is a doubt, he could return and others are progressing well too, including Luke Ayling,
“Luke Ayling has been doing well – I’ve been pleased with him.
“He’s 100 per cent in contention. He’s looked good and he’s an infectious, bubbly character to have around the place.
“Obviously we know of his quality and he’ll be pushing for that right-back spot, or even a midfield one.”
Johnson revealed that Mark Little is fully-fit after suffering from a serious of niggling injuries and knocks in recent times. He should retain his place at right back, with Ayling unlikely to be thrown straight back into the team. Young striker Arnold Garita is also making good progress after undergoing a knee operation.
In more comments ahead of the game, Johnson reflected on his past experiences of this fixture as a player, gave a crying call for the fans and assessed the relegation situation in the Championship,
“I’ve had good and bad moments in this fixture. I remember my dad tripping (Michael) Chopra. I also scored in a 3-0 win…a 40-yard tap-in.
“I’m sure the crowd will be whipped up…right up for it.
“We’re not looking at the teams below us like a Jack Russell snapping at our heels. We’re looking above us.”
The Robins will jump up two places with a victory over the Bluebirds, leapfrogging Leeds United and Huddersfield Town for a few hours at least. Cardiff would go level on points with Sheffield Wednesday in the final play off position with a three-point haul, again for a few hours at least.