Coventry City 1 Bristol City 0
Bottom of the table at Christmas and eight points adrift of safety was the stark reality facing Coventry City as they prepared to take on Bristol City at the Ricoh Arena on Boxing Day.
Manager Andy Thorn however had been back to his usual upbeat self in the week leading up to the game after the departure of Ken Dulieu from his role as head of football operations and a positive meeting with the club hierarchy about plans for the January transfer window.
The Sky Blues needed at least four points however from their festive home fixtures in order to give themselves half a chance of survival going into the new year with Bristol City, struggling themselves but having perked up under new boss Derek McInnes, their first visitors.
The Sky Blues created the best chance of the first-half but ended up on the back foot as the visitors took charge with Thorn admitting afterwards that a formation that had been somewhat forced upon hadn't worked.
The manager's substitutions worked well however as Gary Deegan made an impact and the 'flair' players, Baker, Bell and McSheffrey all came into the game.
Deegan got the all important goal and City grew visibly in confidence, not without the occasional scare and a superb save from Joe Murphy.
A win and a clean sheet meant plenty of rare cause for celebrations among the Ricoh crowd and Thorn was full of praise afterwards for his senior players.
The Sky Blues have a lifeline and will look to build on it when Brighton are the visitors on New Year's Eve.