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TEAM TALK v COLCHESTER, 26/1/2013

24 January 2013

Smith pays tribute to O'Kelly and looks ahead to Colchester...

OBVIOUSLY I was disappointed to see Richard O'Kelly leave the club earlier this week.

We had built up a good working relationship and friendship and I wanted him to stay here, but I can understand his reasons for wanting to accept the challenge of keeping Bristol City in The Championship and renewing his partnership with Sean O'Driscoll.

He has left his mark here and we will continue to build on the foundations that have been laid. These things happen in football and I hope to have a replacement on board within a week. I'll be speaking to people shortly. There were four names in my head straight away and I've also had contact from a number of other worthy candidates.

The fact that it was such a tough decision for Richard to make proves that we are doing something right here and reflects well on us as a club.

We have a culture amongst the players where they know exactly what is expected of them and they will roll their sleeves up and get in with it.

Despite the weather, we have had a productive week in preparation for the trip to Colchester United. We'll give our hosts the respect that they deserve and go there knowing that it will be a tough test for us despite their poor recent form.

It wasn't all that long ago that they came to us when we were on a winless run and we beat them to bring about an upturn in our results, so we have to make sure that the same thing doesn't happen to Colchester at the weekend.

The common theme for us over the past few weeks has been doubles - we've done it against the likes of MK Dons, Portsmouth, Preston and AFC Bournemouth recently - so it would be good to get another.

We'll go there ready for the challenge and determined to add to our points tally.

DEAN SMITH



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