Bristol City winger admits his side targeted Sunderland at set pieces

Jason Steele is beaten as Sunderland fall 1-0 behind on Saturday. Picture by Frank Reid
Jason Steele is beaten as Sunderland fall 1-0 behind on Saturday. Picture by Frank Reid
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Winger Callum O’Dowda admits that Bristol City’s opening goal on Saturday was a calculated attempt to expose Sunderland’s set-piece fragility.

The Robins opened the scoring through Bobby Reid in a move notably similar to that which saw QPR score against the Black Cats at the Stadium of Light earlier in the month.

O’Dowda said: “Yes, we did our homework, looking at the QPR game. We have done a lot of work on corners recently and conditions were not ideal – just a case of getting as much pace on the ball and getting it in a good area where we could hurt them.”

The 22-year-old delivered a man-of-the-match display in front of Republic of Ireland assistant Roy Keane, having being named in the squad for next month’s World Cup play-offs against Denmark.

He said: “I feel I’ve got a bit of momentum right now.

“When I got my move to Bristol last season, initially I was just adjusting to the higher level.

“But working with the gaffer, and the Ireland involvement, has given me so much confidence every time I step out. I feel a different player this season.

“Lee Johnson has such belief in me and that gives me confidence.

“He wants me to take on full-backs which is what every winger loves .

“I’m lucky because we have a big fella up front, so that’s a great outlet. I also like to think I’m one of the quickest players around .

“I suppose you could call me an old-fashioned winger getting at the full-back, but I have also been doing a lot of work with Steve Guppy, who was one of the great crossers of the ball.

“I’ve been lucky enough to work with a few wideman coaches.

“At Oxford, I was working with Chris Allen, who taught me how to make the most of my pace.”