Bristol City in good spirits ahead of Preston North End clash after major ins and outs in January

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Like many clubs at the start of February, Bristol City will be hopeful as they approach the second half of their Championship campaign, thanks to a bit of work done in the January transfer window.

There were notable ins and outs at Ashton Gate last month, with previous tormentor the last time the Robins came to Deepdale Han-Noah Massengo one of the biggest name to leave as he joined French side Auxerre.

Nigel Pearson’s side were busy on deadline day, bringing in Luton Town star Harry Cornick and Anis Mehmeti from Wycombe Wanderers.

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They’re two signs of intent from City, with both players well-rated, Cornick reaching the play-offs last season with the Hatters.

Preston North End's Sean Maguire competing with Bristol City's Alex ScottPreston North End's Sean Maguire competing with Bristol City's Alex Scott
Preston North End's Sean Maguire competing with Bristol City's Alex Scott

The Robins will be hoping they can start moving up the table as they’re currently nearer the drop than the top six, but they are currently seven points and five places above the drop – 10 points off the top six.

Another big name that departed Bristol in January was Antoine Semenyo who joined AFC Bournemouth in the Premier League for around £10.5m. It certainly boosted the coffers at Ashton Gate and meant that they could keep a hold of their best talent, Alex Scott.

The central midfielder was excellent in the reverse fixture and in the Robins’ last visit to Deepdale and looks to have a very bright future ahead of him, seemingly destined for the top flight.

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Massengo, mentioned earlier, was left out of the first team picture for a while, after refusing to sign a new contract, despite his many talents.

Last season’s top scorer Andreas Weimann is currently out injured ahead of this weekend’s game, although Nakhi Wells, who North End were looking into in the summer, will be ready to go. He has nine goals so far this term and is the Robins top scorer.

Bristol City writer Jordan Jones had this to say on Pearson’s men: “It's quite positive around Bristol City at the moment, an unbeaten January coincided with a fairly satisfactory transfer window. No one wants to lose their best players but when the Premier League comes calling, you've just to accept it. Antoine Semenyo went to Bournemouth, and the initial reported fee perhaps upset a few supporters, but really there's add-ons, which if met could make it a good deal.

"There was no double-whammy with Alex Scott, wanted by the likes of Leeds United, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton, staying at least until the summer.

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"High-earners and those out-of-favour moved off the books like Dan Bentley getting a move to Wolves, and Han-Noah Massengo loaned out, meanwhile, Chris Martin and Timm Klose's contracts have been terminated.

“There’s a real good feel factor around the place which is being driven by young homegrown talent leading the way. Sam Bell has really come into his own over the last month, amidst the absences of Tommy Conway and Andreas Weimann and the sale of Semenyo. Zak Vyner's become a fan favourite too, in what's been a remarkable change in circumstances for him when he looked deadset to leave.

“As for incomings, the deadline day arrivals of Cornick and Mehmeti are exactly what the Robins need. They love looking for bargain buys, and Mehmeti whilst highly-sought after, will not have broken the bank. Given in November and December, there were boos at Pearson, and some calling for him to go, he and the football club have come out of January in a much better position.”