Bradley Orr admits he has a lot to thank Bristol City for
Ipswich v Bristol City: IPSWICH Town loanee Bradley Orr admits he has a lot to thank Bristol City for ahead of his former club’s visit to Portman Road tomorrow.
Having been released by Newcastle as a youngster, the Liverpudlian signed for the Robins aged 22.
Admitting that League One matches were ‘passing him by’ as a central midfielder, it was only when new boss Gary Johnson converted him to right-back amid an injury-crisis in 2005 that he blossomed.
Promotion to the Championship followed, with only a Play-off Final loss to Hull City in 2008 preventing the south west outfit reaching the Premier League.
Orr went on to help QPR into the top-flight and also played there for current parent club Blackburn.
“Would I have gone on to achieve what I have achieved in my career had I not been converted to a right-back at Bristol City? Who knows?” said the 30-year-old.
“One thing I do know is I was struggling in midfield at the time. I’d come from reserve team football and the games in League One were pretty much passing me by. I’m the first person to admit that.
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“Moving to full-back revitalised me and gave me the license to kick on and achieve what I have.
“I’ve got fond, fond memories from my time there. I went there as a boy and when I left I was a man. I have a great affiliation with the club.
“They’re only five points behind us though and that can be easily lost or gained within the space of a week or two. We’re down there, they’re down there, so we know we still have a fight on our hands.”
It’s a theme that’s been repeated by Bristol City left-back Greg Cunningham.
“There is no getting away from the fact this is a massive game for us,” said the fit-again Republic of Ireland international.
“None of us want to be in or around the relegation zone and we need to go to Ipswich and get the three points.
“What has gone has gone and we are where we are. The only way out of it is to get back to winning games. We cannot keep looking at other teams and hoping they lose.”
Meanwhile, former Bristol City striker Leroy Rosenior – now a Football League pundit – has given the match an equally big build-up.
He said: “This is City’s biggest game of the season – there is no doubt about it. Win and they will move to within two points of Ipswich. Lose and they will be isolated.
“Wolves and Birmingham are the sides immediately above Ipswich in the table and you cannot see those two being dragged into trouble. Along with Ipswich, you can only see them getting better in the second half of the season.
“City are running out of clubs they can catch and this is a huge game for them.
“If they lose at Portman Road, it will almost certainly be three from four to go down and that is not a good position to be in.
“City don’t seem to be improving, while the teams immediately above them are all picking up points and moving clear.”