Jimmy Phillips hoping for deja vu against Bristol City

Interim manager hoping for a repeat result against the Robins in this weekend's Sky Bet Championship fixture

With a twist of fate seeing interim manager Jimmy Phillips set to pit his wits against Bristol City for a second time in his first game in the hotseat, the former Bolton defender is hoping for a repeat result against the Robins as he looks to lead the Whites to their first away victory of the season.

Installed at the helm on a temporary basis briefly in 2012 following the departure of then-manager Owen Coyle, Phillips saw his side eventually run out 3-2 winners over City at Macron Stadium.

And with Wanderers due to face the Robins once again this weekend, Phillips is eager to ensure that history repeats itself come the final whistle on Saturday afternoon.

“It is quite ironic that my first game in interim charge yet again is against Bristol City,” he said. “Last time though, we were 2-0 down inside 20 minutes so hopefully there won’t be a repeat of that.

“We did come back to win that game though in the end which is the main thing! It is very much just fate that it’s the same this time around.

“I’ve never been involved with a team who hasn’t won once on the road all season, so that’s definitely something that I’ll be looking to eradicate and going to Ashton Gate will be a difficult game.

“Lee Johnson has certainly turned their fortunes around since arriving and they’re a club in the ascendancy, but we go into the game with confidence and hopefully we can inspire the players to get a result.

“We need an initial lift and a response which I’m sure we’ll get it. Despite the situation, their spirits are still high and I’m confident and positive that we’ll improve our fortunes in the last nine games.”

Speaking regarding the team at his disposal, Phillips said, “I’m looking forward to working with the players. They are all in good spirits – they seem bright and lively and I’m sure we’ll work well together.

“However the season will end up, between now and then we’ve got an opportunity to get some pride back for the fans because it’s been a season of turmoil.

“We’re at the stage where the club is very much still alive – it could have been much worse, so for us between now and the end of the season we need to make sure that there are signs of shoots of recovery for the club.”

He continued, “The only thing I’ve got to concentrate on is working with the first team and getting better results out there on the pitch. 

“We’ve played some good football in recent weeks without getting the results that the play deserved – that’s the key area for us to improve upon. 

“They’re not the performances you would associate with a team marooned at the bottom, so we have belief that we can improve results between now and the end of the campaign.”

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