Robins put their faith in some Premier League loans
Bristol City have called upon two Tottenham Hotspur loanees to help them through the 2010-11 season – and Robins manager Keith Millen has revealed how he forged such close relations with those at White Hart Lane.
Millen had a tough start to the season, which began with a swift promotion to the top job after Steve Coppell’s early exit.
And it was Millen’s special relationship with Spurs manager Harry Redknapp and his staff that enabled City to see off rival clubs in securing the services of two exciting Premier League prospects.
“It’s really difficult to get these players, because so many clubs are after them,” Millen told the Bristol Evening Post. “It’s all about building relationships and it definitely helps if you know the management at the bigger clubs.
“I’ve been to watch Tottenham training sessions on a number of occasions and I know Harry Redknapp, Joe Jordan and Kevin Bond. I’ve been down there a lot to watch practice games and got to know people that way. It’s important to build those personal relationships so that, when you ask to take a player, the management know who you are. There is a lot of work that goes into it and we have also made good contacts at Arsenal this year.”
Spurs have clauses enabling either player to return to White Hart Lane at short notice after their first month in Bristol. Millen added: “Now we have these players here, we have to make sure they are happy and feel involved. That stands you in good stead if you want to take other players in the future. They can see how keen we are to look after their players.”
Millen and Coppell failed to sign Ryan Bertrand from Chelsea and Arsenal forward Jay Simpson, who is at Hull.
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The Robins have just one win to their name this season, with only Leicester City below them in the Championship table.
Millen has billed tomorrow’s visit from Norwich City as a “must win” game for his side, who were boosted with the news left-back Jamie McAllister has recovered from a groin injury he suffered in the 3-1 defeat at Portsmouth on Tuesday night.
Millen is expected to make some changes from midweek, but not many.
City continue to struggle in the absense of star striker Nicky Maynard, who underwent knee surgery before a ball was kicked this season. City’s leading scorer with 21 goals last season is expected to be out until Christmas.