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Interview With an Away Fan: Bristol City

Bristol City fan, Paul Binning shares his views ahead of the game today.

Matthew Lewis - Getty Images

We're back with another interview with an away fan here on Through It All Together, for today's game against Bristol City. City fan Paul Binning was kind enough to share his thoughts on the upcoming fixture and you can visit his blog here.

Today promises to be a tough encounter and we will have all the coverage, from pre-match quotes to man of the match poll. Check out our game thread around 2.30pm for live coverage from our very own Stephen Clark.

Here is my interview with Paul:

Currently 10th in the table, how happy are you with the start to the season?

Pretty happy! After two seasons of total dirge and boring, poor quality football at Ashton Gate we've been overhauled and seen 19 goals and got 6 points from just three matches. Away from home a couple of narrow 1-0 defeats were followed by four points from our last two games so all in all there's a lot of satisfaction with how we've started.

Honest expectations for the season?

Six weeks ago I’d have said I'd be happy with avoiding a relegation scrap, now I think there's certainly an aspiration to finish in the top half - realistically anything beyond that is probably asking too much, but if Baldock, Adomah and Woolford can keep linking well and scoring for fun, you never know!

McInnes has seemingly done a great job in the transfer market in the summer and the new players have been critical to the relative success, although they've been interwoven with the likes of Fontaine, Carey, Skuse, Elliott, Stead and Adomah to ensure a reasonable level of continuity.

You've just signed George Elokobi from Wolves until late December, happy with that signing or not?

Yes - the Beast will be made very welcome at Ashton Gate! We have been after a commanding centre-half all summer and still are, Elokobi can play there but has been brought in to cover injury victim - and another new signing - Greg Cunningham, a left-back who looks like our best 'find' since Albert Adomah - he started the season extremely well but was kicked up in the air at Peterborough and is out until December.

Who do we need to watch out for on Saturday?

As already alluded to, the front four have all started well, especially at home and for a couple of seasons now Albert Adomah has been our key threat, and looks somewhat back to his best. His direct running often gives opposition full-backs a torrid afternoon, whilst on the opposite flank Martyn Woolford has been a revelation, eliminating the significant number of boo-boys who threatened to run him out of the club.

But the real missing link so far seems to have been Sam Baldock, signed from West Ham after a summer-long chase and already repaying large chunks of his £1m fee with goals that are winning us games.

What system will you be using for the game, traditional 4-4-2 or something more adventurous?

It has been mainly 4-4-2 at home but with the wingers very much having the licence to not only get forward but move inside and look dangerous. Marvin Elliott will sit in front of the back-four, also allowing ex-Derby midfielder Stephen Pearson to advance and create an extra option.

How's the biggest moaner in the world Neil Kilkenny doing?

We haven't seen a lot of him this season, the move to 4-4-2 from the 4-5-1 favoured last season exposes him a little too much and the rise to prominence of Woolford means that Pearson has moved inside from the left-hand flank and ousted Killa from the starting XI. He has featured on the bench a couple of times, but is by no means guaranteed a place in the squad on Saturday.

What dangers and weaknesses do you see from Leeds?

I haven't seen a lot of Leeds but McCormack, Becchio and Diouf obviously stand out, especially after the atter pair's impressive midweek performance in the cup. The question I'd always have with Diouf is whether he'll be as 'up' for a game in Bristol as a big cup-tie against atop Premier League team.

Danny Pugh is another player I've always liked the look of and we'll need to keep him quiet.

What are your dangers and weaknesses?

The dangers have been outlined above fairly extensively; the weaknesses are very much at the back. Tom Heaton has come in from Cardiff and looked like a good acquisition, but in front of him we're still desperately missing a commanding centre-half and it's shown in the number of goals we've already conceded this season. Cunningham's injury is a real blow as he looked like a class apart, however Mark Wilson has come in from Celtic at right-back and, when fit, looks a very solid right-back.

What can we expect from the home crowd on Saturday?

I think we’ll be really up for it. Two big home wins and a belter of a 5-3 defeat against Blackburn has got the fan base excited again and undoubtedly telling their friends it's worth coming back after two, frankly, low entertainment seasons. Leeds always attracts a big crowd and with the added factor of 'Colin' as your new manager who we have a fair bit of history with, I imagine it will be quite hostile and noisy.

Anyone from the Leeds side you'd like to pinch?

Whilst the strikers stand out we're quite well blessed in that department already so I'll go for Patrick Kisnorbo who always looks fairly solid and is a player in the position we need.

Prediction for the match?

Everything points towards a high-scoring match, so maybe a 2-2 draw, but in these instances, with all the build-up, it's just as likely to be a dull 0-0!