Bristol City midfielder Adam Nagy says he is confident the Robins will be promoted to the Premier League if they can stay completely focused on the task ahead, writes Andrew Clayton.
The Hungarian international arrived at Ashton Gate from Bologna in the summer and immediately became a staple choice in Lee Johnson’s squad. However, an ankle injury in only his second league game, against QPR in August, put his season on hold.
Now back fit, Nagy is again in the team and shared the disappointment of defeat against Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday, as the Robins were unceremoniously dumped out of the FA Cup by a last-minute goal.
Speaking exclusively to The Independent, Nagy says that the result was hugely frustrating for the squad and knows that fans will equally share that emotion.
“Obviously, every one of us was disappointed,” the 24-year-old said.
“We were quiet and down on the bus back. The fact that we’re out is annoying and sad, for us and for our fans too.
“It was a shame, because we had that win against Wigan and we wanted to keep the momentum, but we couldn’t succeed in that.
“We’re sorry for that, for our fans, because they have high expectations which is totally fine.”
However, the Hungarian echoed his manager’s feelings that City cannot dwell on the result and must push on, with a place in the play-offs remaining the target.
“We can’t live in the past and we have to focus on our next game,” Nagy added.
“We have to make sure we close that result and everyone is 100 per cent focused.
“We have to start winning games – we’re only one point from the play-offs and I’m sure if we keep working hard, we’ll get there and get promoted.”
Injuries have plagued Johnson and his squad this season: Marley Watkins is set for a spell on the sidelines with a calf problem while Tomas Kalas, the ex-Chelsea centre-half, has been beset by problems with his hamstring and club captain Bailey Wright has also spent time in and out of the sick ward as of late.
Nagy, on the other hand, feels that he is almost totally mended from the ankle injury in August, after recurring problems had kept his play limited.
The midfielder said: “Each day it’s getting better and better. We did an MRI scan earlier this week which showed it is totally healed now.
“I just have to increase the rehab work and stability work, make the muscles even stronger, and then I’m going to be 100 per cent. There’s no need of an operation.”
Nagy’s move from Serie A middlers Bologna seemed an odd switch at the time, but arguably it has become emblematic of the approach Johnson and the Lansdown-backed board, have taken to transfers, by looking outside England to Europe.
Nagy was joined by Frenchman and fellow midfielder Han-Noah Massengo, who came from AS Monaco for £8 million, and in October City added Spanish striker Rodri to their roster, before he was released this week.
Looking at the arrival from his perspective, Nagy says he is now settling into life in the West Country and even sees Bristol in a new light, now his injury has cleared up.
“I had a hard first period, because of the injury, and I couldn’t really see the beauty of Bristol,” the Hungarian said.
“Now, my mind is totally rebooted and I’m trying to discover England, and Bristol too, with my missus.
“I’m really lucky that I’ve got everything around me, on the pitch and off it, that I need to improve and achieve my goals.”