First Team News

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Loan watch: Ryan helps rescue Robins

Ryan McGivern

Ryan McGivern

With Emmanuel Adebayor, John Guidetti and Vladimir Weiss all absent for their respective clubs, it was left to Ryan McGivern to lead the line for Blues out on loan this weekend.

His Bristol City side secured their Championship status for another season with a convincing 2-0 win over Barnsley.

Despite spending much of the campaign down in the division’s danger-zone, the Robins defied the mid-season odds to ensure Championship football at Ashton Gate in 2012/13.

The returning McGivern played his part – not only helping his side on the way to a first clean sheet in four but also creating their second goal after being upended in the penalty area.

Having guaranteed their own safety last week, defeat for Greg Cunningham’s Nottingham Forest had little effect on their place in the table. Unable to prevent their 2-0 reverse at the KC Stadium, the Irish defender will simply be grateful not to have followed Alex Nimely’s Coventry into League One – the 20-year-old striker not present as the Sky Blues’ relegation was confirmed on Saturday.

Harry Bunn was also left to breathe a sigh of relief this weekend as Paul Dickov’s Oldham confirmed their League One survival with a 1-1 draw against Preston.

Though always unlikely to be dragged into a relegation battle, the Latics were lucky that other results didn’t go against them as Preston pegged them back to draw 1-1 – Bunn unable to alter the score-line having entered the fray with just six minutes left on the clock.

Wayne Bridge was the Blues’ only loan star to make a Premier League appearance at the weekend, yet from the Sunderland subs bench as the Wearside club played out a goalless draw away at Aston Villa.

Mohammed Abu’s Stromsgodset made it four games unbeaten with a 1-0 win over Viking that lifts them to within one point of the Tippeligaen summit – the Ghanaian international playing the full ninety minutes for the Norwegian outfit.

Meanwhile, Roque Santa Cruz played 71 minutes of Betis’ trip to Valencia but failed to make his mark as the home side ran away 4-0 victors.

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Awards dinner

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City v United January 2010

De Jong battled away in just the kind of contest that he relishes so much.

Take a stroll down Memory Lane to the very early days of the Roberto Mancini era, and a typically eventful Manchester derby in the first leg of the Carling Cup semi final.