McNamara happy to win ugly

Bristol City have no fresh injury worries as they prepare for
their huge Championship clash with Sheffield Wednesday at Ashton
Gate on Monday.

The Robins are yet to taste defeat on home soil since head coach
Sean O’Driscoll took charge but their failure to secure a victory
on the road has left them six points adrift of safety with seven
games remaining.

The likes of Albert Adomah and Liam Kelly are pushing for
recalls while Paul Anderson came through 90 minutes following his
return to the starting line-up after injury.

But O’Driscoll is limited when it comes to attacking options
with striker Ryan Taylor (shoulder) back in training but not yet
available, and fellow forward Jon Stead (groin) still
sidelined.

City’s latest defeat on their travels, a 3-0 loss at Derby on
Friday, means a reverse to the Owls would leave the Robins staring
at a return to League One after six seasons on football’s second
rung.

Sheffield Wednesday, meanwhile, will be without suspended
defender Lewis Buxton for the game.

Buxton was sent off in Saturday’s derby win over Barnsley for a
second yellow card offence and will sit out a one-game ban, so
Martin Taylor will come into contention for a recall.

Seyi Olofinjana and fellow midfielder Stuart Holden made their
debuts after joining on loan last week from Hull and Bolton
respectively, and manager Dave Jones must decide if both are
capable of playing two games in four days.

Giles Coke, fit again after a foot injury, replaced Holden in
the second half on Saturday, while Rhys McCabe, Kieran Lee, and
David Prutton provide Jones with extra options in midfield.

Jermaine Johnson is in contention to start. He returned to the
bench following international duty with Jamaica, but fellow winger
Michail Antonio (groin) is out for the rest of the season.

The hosts will hope Will Grigg can manage two games in four days
as they prepare to entertain their midlands neighbours.

The Northern Ireland international, who has 19 goals to his name
this season, was a big doubt for Good Friday’s trip to Yeovil but
made an earlier than expected to return to start from the off at
Huish Park.

Grigg lasted 78 minutes of the goalless draw and Saddlers boss
Dean Smith, who is not expected to be have any other injury or
suspension concerns, will be hoping he is fresh enough to line up
once more against the Sky Blues.

New loan signing Romaine Sawyers appeared for the closing stages
against the Glovers and will be aiming for a bigger role on Easter
Monday as Walsall strive to stretch their 11-match unbeaten
run.

Coventry manager Steven Pressley will be tempted to keep faith
with an unchanged XI.

Pressley poured praise on his players after they responded from
one of the toughest weeks in the crisis club’s history to inflict a
1-0 defeat on league leaders Doncaster on Good Friday.

The victory would have kept City within touching distance of the
play-offs were it not for a 10-point deduction for going into
administration, imposed by the Football League 24 hours
previous.

Pressley made three changes for the clash as fit-again skipper
Carl Baker returned in midfield alongside Adam Barton, with Callum
Ball taking his place in attack.

Gary McSheffrey and Cody McDonald, both benched, will be hoping
for recalls while Steven Jennings will again be assessed having
missed out due to injury.

Dundee boss John Brown immediately tried to sign the former
Inverness and Ross County striker on a short-term deal after he
became one of seven experienced players to lose their jobs with the
administration-hit club.

A statement on the Dundee website read: “The signing which took
place at Dens Park this afternoon is subject to SFA clearance and
special dispensation due to Dunfermline’s circumstances.”

Partick Thistle signed two of the released Pars players, Jordan
McMillan and Andy Dowie, while Dunfermline reported that goalkeeper
Paul Gallacher had joined Ross County.

The Tangerines are facing crunch time as they chase a top-six
slot with games against Saints tomorrow night at McDiarmid Park
before hosting Aberdeen at Tannadice this weekend.

McNamara knows the importance of securing a top-half finish for
the Scottish Cup semi-finalists so will not mind if they win ugly
on this occasion.

McNamara said: “We always try to play good football.

“But when it gets down to this stage of the season it can be
more about the result than the performance at the end of the
day.

“I know the players can dig deep to win even if they’re not at
their best.

“That’s a side of their game they’ve shown since I came in so
they may have to do that again.

“St Johnstone are a big, strong side so we will obviously have
to match them in that respect.

“It’s going to be a very hard game but we’ll be ready for it and
hopefully come away with a positive result.”

United’s last outing ended in a 1-1 draw with city rivals Dundee
before the international weekend.

And McNamara reckons they’ve benefited from the free weekend and
are raring to go again in their pursuit of a top-six slot.

He added: “The lads are buzzing to get going again.

“We worked hard when we were in last week and then had a little
bit of time off.

“The players have come back fresh and are really looking forward
to this match with St Johnstone.

“It’s a big one and we’re under no illusions about that.

“We will be looking to win both games before the split so we
know what we have to try and do in that regard.

“I think the players are capable of that as they’ve shown on
their day.

“There are no easy games in the SPL but hopefully this one can
being out the best in us on Monday night.”

United will give winger Gary Mackay-Steven every chance of
making it as he battles to shrug off a hamstring injury.

John Rankin is suspended though and striker John Russell is
still missing through his knee injury.