Date:Thursday April 14 2011
Keith Millen has admitted that bolstering his defence is his number one target for the City this summer.
The Robins boss has had to rely heavily on the loan market to plug gaps at the back this season, with Steven Caulker and Jordan Spence both impressing on loan.
But with Millen already losing the services of Caulker, who returned to parent club Tottenham last month, the Londoner is aware that his defence not only lacks strength in depth, but quality too.
"If we are going to be successful and move up the league next season, we have to have a solid base," Millen told the Bristol Evening Post. "I will be trying to strengthen the defence.
"Even allowing for all the injuries, there are positions that require strengthening and people know that.
"I have a good squad with some real quality, certainly in the forward positions.
"The only place I don't have that at the moment is in the back four. We are down to the bare bones in defence and I cannot see that situation improving until the summer.
"The summer seems a long way off at the moment, but we are already looking at players we would like to bring in and that situation has been ongoing for quite a while now.
"With the firepower we have, we know we can create chances and score goals. If we are keeping clean sheets at the other end, then we can win games in the Championship.
"We have been strong and powerful for quite a long time now and we have to make sure we have a solid base to work from at the start of next season. If we continue being solid, we will win more games than we lose."
Millen is expected to go back in for Preston full-back Billy Jones after having a January deadline day bid rejected, while Chelsea's reserve team left-back Ryan Bertrand could also be on his radar as his contract at Stamford Bridge expires in June.
Loanee Spence could also be a target for City as his current deal at West Ham runs out at the end of the season, although the England U21 youngster has been offered new terms to remain at Upton Park.
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Date:Thursday April 14 2011
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