Phil Parkinson reckons City’s deadline-day loan captures will add an exciting dimension to their assault on all fronts.
Parkinson snapped up Premier League teenagers Blair Turgott and Curtis Good on short-term deals and both go straight into the squad for tomorrow’s clash at Bristol Rovers.
West Ham winger Turgott, 18, and Newcastle centre half Good, 18, have not seen any senior action in England before but the City chief is confident they can add something to his squad.
Importantly, the new arrivals are free to play in the three cup competitions that City face over the next two and a half weeks.
Parkinson said: “They are both relatively inexperienced but I think they are exciting, hungry players. This is a good opportunity for them to get a taste of first-team football.
“With Zavon (Hines) and Reidy (Kyel Reid) being out, Blair adds a bit more pace and creativity in the team.
“Curtis is a left-footed centre half and he will give us more cover in there after losing John Egan.”
Turgott, signed until January 5, has been an England regular for the past three years through different age-groups, winning more than 25 caps, and is one of the most experienced members of Noel Blake’s under-19 squad.
Aussie under-19 international Good joined Newcastle in the summer from Melbourne Heart after graduating from the Australian Institute of Sport.
Good, whose loan runs out on January 2, will be competing with Carl McHugh to partner Rory McArdle at the Memorial Stadium as City look to strengthen their play-off place before slipping into cup mode.
Another win tomorrow could even put them into the third automatic spot depending on other results.
City’s form on the road – a real weak point for so long – has picked up since letting in four at Dagenham at the start of October. They have lost only one of the last six away games, conceding just twice in the process.
Assistant boss Steve Parkin said: “It’s very important we continue our upturn in away form.
“We’ve had some cracking results lately at Wigan, Hartlepool and Northampton in the cups and the league wins at Northampton and Aldershot.
“We’ve definitely turned it round away from home but it’s not easy. We’ve got to have the mentality to keep it going.
“There’s a difference between hoping to win away and knowing how to.
“I think we’ve given them the tools to do that. We’ve given them the belief and they’ve put it into practice.
“Without being over-confident, I’m sure they will be going into the game looking to back up the three points from the other night.”
With two more rookies coming in, Parkin remains confident City can maintain their run despite the lack of experienced heads.
“We’ve had several times this season because of the injuries when you’ve looked at the bench and hoped that the lads can come on and fulfil their potential.
“Most of the time we’ve not been let down.
“It happened again the other night with Carlo, who stood up really well. That’s a good sign with a lot of games coming up.”
Bristol Rovers have lost six of their last seven games and boss Mark McGhee is coming under increasing flak from fans. Chairman Nick Higgs gave him a public vote of confidence this week but called the last couple of weeks “a bit of a shambles”.
Parkin said: “He’s a very experienced manager who has probably been in this position before.
“He will no doubt have his players motivated and ready to go but there is the underlying fact they have been struggling. It’s up to us to make sure we are right.
“We’ve got to make sure the preparation is spot on, the lads have got their legs back and we’re crystal clear in the team we’re picking.
“We need the same mentality we had at Aldershot, which is to be nice and solid, making sure we are crisp in our passing and organised in our shape.”
Guy Branston did not get a game for Aldershot that day against his former club and was left on the bench. But he will face City tomorrow after signing for Bristol Rovers on a one-month loan.
Rovers become Branston’s 19th club and McGhee said: “He is a straightforward, uncompromising player and I think he will do a good job for us.”