Steve Cotterill, the Bristol City manager, hopes his side’s victory in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy will prove to be a catalyst to winning promotion in style.
Goals early in each half, first from Aden Flint then from Mark Little, sealed their third Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Wembley on Sunday and, with Cotterill’s side 10 points clear in League One with eight games left, the manager wants the title as well.
“We have a fixation now that we want to win the league,” he said. “There is plenty to play for and hopefully days like this can enhance us a bit more. It will be very pleasing if we can end up winning the league, that is the big one for me. Days like this will reinvigorate us, it is an invaluable experience, there is nothing like lifting silverware.”
Flint headed in after just 15 minutes and Little ended the contest when he bundled the ball home six minutes after the break after Richard O’Donnell had saved his initial header.
So Walsall’s first trip to Wembley in their 127-year history ended in defeat but, in truth, they struggled to match City.
Jordan Cook hit the post with a looping cross in the second half and Andy Taylor volleyed over but Walsall never looked like recovering after falling behind.
They are four points above the relegation zone in League One and their manager, Dean Smith, insisted they must recover quickly from the loss. “We won’t dwell on it,” he said. “We knew it was a special occasion, we wanted to come here and embrace it. We have played against the champions elect in our league and just come up short.
“We didn’t perform to anywhere near our level. It’s too early to say whether there are regrets but some will be disappointed. Maybe it was a bit of nerves. We’re normally very good on the ball and today it wasn’t quite good enough.
“They are young lads out there who wouldn’t have been in front of 72,000 before and they handled it a lot better than we did. I’m proud of the achievement of getting here but disappointed with the result. It’s a big learning curve.”
An ecstatic Cotterill added: “Do I see this as part of a League One double? It would be nice. We know we’ve got good games to play, starting next week with an important game against Barnsley.
“Now we’ve ended up winning the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Wembley, hopefully that can push us on to finish the season off. We would like to use this as a springboard.”Reuse content