Bristol City are on the march, of that there is no doubt.
Eight points clear at the top of Sky Bet League One, the Robins have spread their wings in spectacular style and appear to be soaring their way back to the Sky Bet Championship.
Life in the third tier was, initially, a bit of an eye-opener for those at Ashton Gate, but a manager that can boast spells at Stoke City, Burnley, Portsmouth and Nottingham Forest on a distinguished CV has helped to steady the ship and build forward momentum.
Steve Cotterill’s star is very much on the rise again, with the 50-year-old tactician on the brink of toasting not only promotion in 2014/15, but title-winning success.
HITC Sport caught up with Robins defender Aden Flint to discuss Cotterill’s impact and a productive campaign as a whole, and here is what he had to say during a phone interview: “He’s come in and given the boys a bit of a lift when they needed it last season. We worked on everything on pre-season and he’s built a team spirit that is showing on and off the pitch.”
Can they keep him, with success inevitably leading to interest? Flint said: “A bit of a success does bring that, but hopefully he’ll want to stay and continue that.”
On getting one foot over the line in the battle to secure a return to the second tier, he added: “Our main aim was to win the league at the beginning of the season. It’s looking good at the minute but we’ll take it one game at a time. We aren’t getting carried away. We want to go up as champions, that’s the best way to do it.
“Obviously when we got relegated from the Championship a couple of seasons ago now, it was a difficult transition. But last season Steve Cotterill came in and we turned a corner. Ever since the gaffer has come in, we’ve picked up.
“I think this squad is capable of competing in the Championship. Obviously we might need to look at adding a few more experienced players to the squad, but I think we’re capable of doing okay next year.”
City look to be faring more than ‘okay’ at present, with Cotterill’s side possessing that one quality that every side craves – goals.
In Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Luke Freeman, Aaron Wilbraham and Kieran Agard, they possess that quality in abundance, while the core members of their squad are all a good age and approaching their peak.
Flint added: “The four forward lads have got more than 10 goals each, so that’s a bonus. But all of the players in the squad have chipped in with goals. I think every player in the squad has scored. That’s worked really well for the team.
“We’ve got two experienced players in Aaron Wilbraham and Wade Elliott, they are a bit older than the rest and have the experience that helps the younger boys.”
Things could not be going much better for Bristol City right now - with Johnstone's Paint Trophy success already toasted - and, should they get over the line in the third tier, you get the feeling that they boast all of the attributes required to have a good go at the Championship next year, while mounting a possible bid for Premier League football in the not too distant future.
Aden Flint was speaking on behalf of Sky Bet,the Title Sponsor of The Football League. This season, a £250,000 Sky Bet Transfer Fund will go to a Football League club to spend on players in the 2015 summer transfer window. Fans who bet with Sky Bet generate Transfer Fund Tokens and go into a random draw to win a £5,000 prize – and the £250,000 Sky Bet Transfer Fund for their Football League club.
To sign up, go to www.skybet.com/transferfundand select the Football League team you support.