Bristol City handed big boost ahead of crunch Sunderland fixture

Bristol City manager Lee Johnson applauds supporters. PA pic.
Bristol City manager Lee Johnson applauds supporters. PA pic.
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Bristol City have been handed a boost ahead of the trip to face Sunderland after the Robins successfully appealed Matty Taylor’s red card against Leeds United.

The 27-year-old forward was involved in clash with Leeds defender Gaetano Berardi at Ashton Gate on Saturday, with the former Sampdoria player appearing to head-butt Taylor.

Both players were dismissed by referee Oliver Langford.

But Bristol City have successfully appealed the decision and he will no longer have to serve a three-match ban, which means he is available for Saturday’s trip to Wearside.

Sunderland are second-bottom heading into the Stadium of Light clash, with the Robbins flying high in 7th, just a point outside the play-off positions following their 3-0 defeat to Leeds - their first defeat since August.

Taylor has only netted one goal in seven appearances this season but his availability is a welcome option for Bristol City head coach Lee Johnson.

Johnson, who says he has “all the tools” in his versatile squad to adapt to several different formations, is looking for his side to get back to winning ways in the Championship, with Sunderland without a win on home soil since last December.

“You have to bounce back,” said Johnson.

“We know we have good players and I love my squad, they are a great bunch of lads.

“I have all the tools so I can go with tall or smaller men up front.

“I can adapt my formation easily, they have energy, so I like my squad for where we are and I believe in them.

“Yes they have to be told when they don’t perform but they know they are just one game away from being heroes again,” added Johnson.

Bristol striker Milan Djuric, who has been out with a groin injury, continues to edge closer to a full recovery after getting 45 minutes in their Under-23 win against Millwall. Other injury concerns include Korey Smith (hamstring) and Nathan Baker (knee).