In our latest interview with a rival, Keith Ingham spoke to Riaz, a Bristol City fan that is currently loving this Championship season.
Can we start at the beginning, how long have you followed Bristol City and why did you pick them as your team?
Having grown up in the area, i've always supported Bristol City. My uncle would always tell me I was a Bristol City fan and I didn't really consider any other team.
But it wasn't until I was 9 that i really got the bug. City drew Liverpool in the 3rd round of the cup and my dad took me - he could only get tickets in the Liverpool end, thanks to my useless uncle lol - that was the infamous day the floodlights failed and the match was abandoned.
I never went to the replayed game which ended 1-1. But it was the replay at Anfield, that was memorable. I watched it back in Bristol, in a packed Colston Hall. City played some brilliant football that night and we ended up beating Liverpool 1-0. This was a Liverpool side which included Ian Rush, John Barnes, Bruce Grobbelaar, Neil Ruddock etc - these were players I was watching every week on match of the day and here was MY team beating them. At this point i was hooked!
Favourite players and games you've attended?
There's been so many favourite players over the years - but my favourite has to be Scott Murray. He was a brilliant player, but what separates him from the rest, is that he's now one of us and ALWAYS has time for city fans.
A Lot of players, especially the good ones, can be quite arrogant. But not scotty, one of the nicest blokes you'll meet.
My favourite games we're the play-off games in 2008 against Palace. They were managed by Warnock and city fans really don't like the man, its fair to say - so that added to the atmosphere. In the first leg, David Noble scored one of the best goals you'll see in the last minute to nick the game - that atmosphere at the end at Selhurst Park made it my favourite away game. Then the return leg, where Trundle & McIndoe are fired us to Wembley. Ashton Gate was rocking that night.
Best era since you started following City?
Definitely the Gary Johnson era - he took over a side which looked destined to be relegated to League 2 and he almost took us to the Premiership!
His side, for the first few years at least, had a never say die attitude. He really got the fans on board and helped create a really good atmosphere at the club. The club at that time was buzzing and I had never experienced that sort of atmosphere at the club. His son Lee, seems to be doing something similar now.
Who are your Biggest rivals? (apart from Bristol Rovers)
Cardiff and Swindon are our other rivals. We haven't done well against Cardiff in recent years, though this year that's going to change lol.
The rivalry against Swindon a couple of years ago was memorable. They got our captain sent off in the first game at the County Ground, beat us 1-0 and then celebrated like they won the league - the game was in November and only served to motivate the players and the club in general.
We went on to win the league fairly easily, beating them in the return game 3-0, with famous Aden Flint interview after the game, where he said he didn't want his former club to join us in getting promoted. That was a priceless moment, against one of our rivals.
A funny occurrence or something that stuck in your memory while attending a game?
When I was a ball boy back in the late 90's and Wolves mascot picked a fight with our 3 pigs. It was hilarious - i'm sure its on youtube, definitely worth 30 seconds of your time lol.
Player or players in your squad that could go up a level or one or two that you see as key to a good 2016/17 season?
On-loan Chelsea youngster Tammy Abraham who has scored 9 goals in 11 games is clearly destined for great things - a future England star for sure.
We hope many of our young players will be good enough for the Premier League one day, but the most likely would have to be Joe Bryan. Can play anywhere down the left and sometimes in midfield. Talented player with real quality - and for a smallish lad, has a terrific leap and beats most people in the air.
Other important players would be Lee Tomlin and Korey Smith. Both players who would get into most Championship teams.
You had Matt Smith, the ex-Leeds striker. What was your opinion of him?
Matt Smith scored loads for us, but has since become a bit of a marmite player amongst City fans.
Every transfer window his name comes up - half the fans desperate for us to sign him and the other half thinking we can do better.
Personally, if we signed him, I would be happy. Think he is better than our current striker Aaron Wilbraham - who has never let us down, but is coming to the end of his career.
Champions, Runners Up and six teams you think will challenge for the Playoffs?
Huddersfield are looking strong (sorry) - but the top 2 should be Newcastle and Norwich. Other teams that could get into the top 6, I think will be Brighton, Birmingham and hopefully us!
Three that will be Relegated?
Cardiff are certain for relegation i feel - seeing as they recently lost to Bristol Rovers. Along with Blackburn and Wigan.
Prediction and Scorers?
Our leaky defence is our weakness, so there will be goals. I'm going 3-1 to us. Tammy Abraham most likely scoring for us, along with Lee Tomlin. Hopefully, Luke Ayling does not score for you and has a bad game lol - as he is well liked still by bristol city fans and former players always seem to score against us.
We'd like to thank Riaz for answering our questions and hope that we see a good performance at Ashton Gate tomorrow evening.
With both teams on fine form we are expecting a lot of fireworks. With the last fixture at the Gate between the sides ending 2-2.
By Keith Ingham
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