Bristol coach Liam Middleton asks for fans' belief

Liam Middleton
Bristol are second in the Championship with five wins this season

Coach Liam Middleton has asked for the Bristol supporters' understanding after criticism of fielding an under-strength side in the British & Irish Cup.

Bristol host Moseley on Wednesday after defeat by Cornish Pirates in September.

Middleton told BBC Radio Bristol: "It is just asking our supporters to see the bigger picture and trust what we are doing.

"We do appreciate them but there's a bigger picture and there's a knock-on effect to these midweek games."

Bristol were beaten 50-22 in the first game in this season's competition after Middleton chose to field a weakened squad.

"This week's game is at home and we will probably field a stronger side with more squad and first-team players," he added.

"We need to reward our fans for the support they give us but it is also looking at the season as a whole.

"Those midweek games take a little bit out of the boys.

"Had we been to Pirates with a stronger side, we may not have been able to perform well against Bedford last weekend, as we just wouldn't have enough in our tanks."