Bristol City search under way – Ashton

22 Apr

Mark Ashton (right)

Mark Ashton’s (right) appointment was announced two days after Bristol City sacked previous manager Steve Cotterill

Bristol City chief operating office Mark Ashton says the Championship club will “leave no stone unturned” in their search for new players this summer.

The Robins need one point from their remaining three games to guarantee their place in the division for next season under head coach Lee Johnson.

“We’re extremely busy behind the scenes, we’ve got to start planning for next season,” said Ashton.

“We are looking at all options – long-term loans or permanent signings.”

Ashton returned to Bristol City in January, having worked for the club on a consultancy basis before becoming chief executive at Oxford United in the summer of 2014.

When he arrived at Ashton Gate the Robins were 22nd in the table, two points from safety, after winning only four of their opening 26 league games.

“We have to focus on getting the point need – that’s absolutely paramount,” Ashton told BBC Points West.

“We’re in the middle of identifying talent for next season and I would like to get as much of our business done as early as possible to give Lee Johnson and the players a full pre-season.

“He knows what he wants but identifying who is always the most challenging part. We are working to a strict DNA – the technical, the physical, the tactical, the psychological and, importantly, the financial fit for the club.

“We will not leave any stone unturned in our efforts to find the right players.”

Will Lee Tomlin return?

Lee Tomlin<!–

Lee Tomlin has scored five times in 15 appearances since joining Bristol City on loan

On-loan Bournemouth midfielder Lee Tomlin has had a major influence since arriving at Ashton Gate in January, with four of his five goals coming in his last seven appearances.

Ashton admits finalising a deal to get him back with the Robins is firmly on his radar.

“I’m too long in the tooth to say ‘never’,” said Ashton. “We are having on-going discussions with Lee.

“He’s happy and a happy player plays well – he’s done extremely well for us.”

City go to Blackburn on Saturday before their final home game of the campaign against Huddersfield and a last-day trip to Queens Park Rangers.


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