Sunderland v Bristol City: Bryan promises Robins will be ‘right at it’ for Stadium of Light showdown

Bristol City's Joe Bryan (right) challenges Hadi Sacko of Leeds last season.
Bristol City's Joe Bryan (right) challenges Hadi Sacko of Leeds last season.
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Bristol City defender Joe Bryan says the Robins will “be right at it” for this afternoon’s Sky Bet Championship trip to face Sunderland.

The Ashton Gate men are on a high following Tuesday night’s dramatic, come-from-behind 4-1 Carabao Cup success against Premier League side Crystal Palace.

City are also riding high in the league, sitting in seventh place despite last weekend’s 3-0 defeat at home to Leeds.

Sunderland, meanwhile, are struggling, with just one victory on the board – and that as long ago as mid-August.

Bryan, though, acknowledges the difficulties for the Black Cats, following last season’s dismal relegation from the top flight.

The 24-year-old told BCTV: “It takes time to adjust to any league; the speed and style is always different and there’s a bedding-in period.

“They’ve got good players and will be dangerous.

“You can’t go into any game being complacent…we’ve just come off the back of a 3-0 defeat at home to Leeds in the league.

“Palace on Tuesday was the perfect game for us really after that Leeds defeat.

“We will be right at it and raring to go.”

City will be backed by a 1,500-strong travelling support as they visit the Stadium of Light for only the second time. The only previous meeting was an early-season 1-1 draw in Sunderland’s 105-point title-winning campaign in 1998-99.

That night, Kevin Phillips looked to have secured all three points for Peter Reid’s men, thanks to his 13th-minute opener, but Soren Andersen popped up two minutes from time to give the visitors a point.

“It’s a new stadium for a lot of us,” added home-grown Bristol City product Bryan.

“We’ll have a decent amount of fans up there, which is fantastic. We’re looking forward to it.”

Bryan was proud of his stunning strike in the midweek Carabao Cup victory over ex-City boss Roy Hodgson’s Palace, a triumph which leaves them as the Championship’s sole survivors in the competition’s last eight.

They have the attraction of a home quarter-final against Manchester United to look forward to.

“I know it sounds strange but before I got the ball, I knew exactly what I was going to do,” said Bryan, whose fierce left-foot smasher went in off the underside of the bar to put Lee Johnson’s men 3-1 up and all but kill off any remaining hopes for the visitors.

“I just had that feeling that I was going to score – I was that confident.

“It was a shot by the way, not a cross!”