Mark Ashton: Bristol City seek 'natural leader' as head coach

Bristol City
Bristol City completed the double over Championship leaders Middlesbrough on Saturday

Bristol City's next head coach needs to be a "very good communicator" and "natural leader", says chief operating officer Mark Ashton.

The Robins, who are 22nd in the Championship, sacked manager Steve Cotterill last Thursday.

John Pemberton and Wade Elliott have been put in interim charge, and oversaw Saturday's win over Middlesbrough.

"I like to work with a management team and a head coach is part of that management team," said Ashton.

"It is about the person, the person is key and the way they work is key," he told BBC Points West.

"It has to be a very good communicator who understands the modern game. They have to be a good natural leader, somebody who can take the club forward, playing in the right way."

While Ashton refused to rule 51-year-old Pemberton out of taking the job on a permanent basis, he did confirm that Oxford's Michael Appleton will not be approached.

"We have said to John, give us a problem and go and win some football matches," he said. "I am not ruling anything out at this stage. Bristol City is a very attractive club and it is a big, big city."

Bristol City host West Bromwich Albion in their FA Cup third-round replay on Tuesday, having shared a 2-2 draw at the Hawthorns 10 days ago.

Nineteen-year-old goalkeeper Max O'Leary is set to make his full debut in the absence of injured number one Frank Fielding.

"He has been around us a long time in the squad," said Pemberton. "He has a great temperament, we have full confidence in him and I am looking forward to seeing how he copes."

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