By Adam Shergold for MailOnline
Published: 15:57 BST, 20 September 2020 | Updated: 16:19 BST, 20 September 2020
Lee Johnson always had Bristol City there or thereabouts when it came to the Championship play-offs in the last three seasons - even if they never quite got over the line.
Though it’s early days yet, there are some encouraging signs that Johnson’s former assistant Dean Holden may finally get them there.
They had an impressive hold on this contest, claiming a deserved three points. Most importantly, it is four wins from four in this fledgling season.
Nakhi Wells celebrates after his goal put Bristol City ahead in their clash versus Stoke
Wells showed impressive composure as he found the net during the Championship clash
Andreas Weimann made sure of Bristol City's victory when he scored in the closing stages
Nahki Wells scored on the stroke of half-time after Bristol dominated the opening 45. The way in which they shut down the game in the second-half was equally as impressive and Andreas Weimann capped a fine afternoon’s work by scoring late on to seal it.
But there are alarming signs that Stoke face a repeat of last season’s relegation strife. They may well have shocked Wolves in the Carabao Cup in midweek but they’ve scored just once in four matches now.
Worse still, the Potters didn’t muster a single shot on target here and Michael O’Neill doesn’t have to search too far to diagnose the malfunctions within his team.
Weimann is congratulated by his team-mates following his goa, which made it 2-0 to his side
The Northern Irishman looked thoughtful as he chewed gum in his technical area, mulling on a dearth of creativity and probably little chance of rectifying it now on the club’s shoestring transfer budget.
It could well be a long winter and had the Stoke fans been here, there would surely have been vocal frustration at such a toothless performance. You imagine Weimann’s second would have sparked a mass exodus.
By contrast, early round Carabao Cup successes against lower league opposition and last weekend’s league win over Coventry have afforded a bit of early momentum for Holden and his team.
And the visitors wasted little time getting on the front foot here. Stoke boss O’Neill had spoken