We must show character, says Bristol City loan signing Neil Danns
Neil Danns breezed into Ashton Gate and urged his new Bristol City team-mates to "be brave" ahead of today's Championship showdown with Blackpool at Ashton Gate.
Signed on a one-month loan from Leicester City, the midfielder is no stranger to battling relegation.
He found himself in a similar situation at Crystal Palace a few seasons ago and is determined to give City the benefit of his experience over the next four weeks as they seek to end a club-record sequence of seven straight defeats, which has left them languishing at the foot of the table.
Palace were plunged into trouble in the second tier after being deducted ten points for going into administration, but battled back to retain their Championship status on the final day of the season.
Danns said: "The circumstances were different in that we were doing well before the deduction, but the qualities needed to get out of trouble remain the same.
"You have to show character – that is the most important quality. If you are going to get out of a dog-fight like this, you have to show character.
"It is vital you show courage and bravery, especially when things are not going your way. You have to stay positive and keep doing all the things you know you can do.
"I know it is easier said than done, but you must not be afraid to express yourself. Those are the qualities that will be needed to help us climb the table."
An experienced campaigner in the Championship, Danns is determined to help City climb the table, starting with tomorrow's game against Blackpool.
He added: "The more characters you have in the dressing room the better and we had experienced lads like Clint Hill, Sean Derry and Alan Tate to help us through at Palace.
"When I found out I was going to Bristol City, I had a look at the squad on the internet and was surprised to see where they were in the table.
"I've played with some of these lads before and I know there is real quality in the squad. The next three games all look really hard (Blackpool at home followed by Middlesbrough and Brighton away), but I'm sure the quality is here to get out of trouble."
Danns is set to start and City manager Derek McInnes said: "We always sit down and speak to every loan player about why they are here. Neil has his own agenda – he has to get himself games and he has to lift his profile.
"But ultimately, he has got to buy into our cause, regardless of where we are in the league.
"He has to have that single-mindedness to get what he can from it, but he also has to make sure he is up for the fight and able to give what we want from him as well.
"Given the type of player he is, I've no doubts he will do that. He is a no-nonsense type of player and will bring a real competitiveness to the team. We have brought him here because he plays the game with a real fire in his belly and gets around the pitch and goes and makes contact.
"He is a bundle of energy and, hopefully, he can bring a freshness to us that will help matters."