EFL

Liam Manning hails Bristol City’s performance in win over Southampton

By Sports Desk February 13, 2024

Liam Manning praised an exhilarating display by his Bristol City team after they demolished promotion-chasing Southampton 3-1.

The head coach was understandably elated after second-half goals from Sam Bell, Rob Dickie and substitute Harry Cornick had rewarded a scintillating display.

Bell converted a low Anis Mehmeti cross to break the deadlock after 52 minutes. Dickie headed the second from a Joe Williams corner 20 minutes later and Cornick fired home from a pass by fellow substitute Ross McCrorie eight minutes from time.

Southampton replied in added time when Adam Armstrong netted from the spot after a foul on Kyle Walker-Peters, but Russell Martin’s men could have no complaints.

Manning said: “It was the most complete performance since I took the job. Our levels have been good and consistent, but not always showing the ruthlessness we need.

“That was still the case in the first half tonight and Southampton got on top of us for 20 minutes or so.

“Apart from that, I couldn’t have asked for more. I’m really pleased for Sam Bell that he scored.

“I had a chat with him the day after he missed his shoot-out penalty at Nottingham Forest last week and his response to that disappointment in the FA Cup has been fantastic.

“It says a lot for the spirit in our camp that we have bounced back to win two tough Championship games.

“The players are buying into what I want and there is a real togetherness with them and the staff.

“Each individual knows his job and we are making progress.”

Southampton head coach Martin said: “I’m disappointed tonight, but immensely proud of the players for the run we have been on. To go 25 games unbeaten is phenomenal.

“Bristol City were really good and we lacked that energy and quality that has been winning us games during our good run.

“I’m annoyed at the goals we conceded and we need to work on that. They ran their socks off, worked so hard and caused us problems.

“But we had chances at 0-0 and 1-0 down, which could have changed things. We weren’t clean enough with the ball tonight, but still had periods of control.

“Our fans were brilliant and I’m disappointed for them. But the overall feeling is still one of immense pride at what we have achieved recently.

“The amazing run was always going to come to an end and now it is all about how we respond.”

Southampton now sit third in the table with a game in hand over second-placed Leeds two points above them.

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