22 April 2023

Nigel Pearson excited for future with Bristol City making progress

22 April 2023

Nigel Pearson feels Bristol City have made progress in the Championship this season after a 2-1 victory over Rotherham.

After Tommy Conway’s opener was cancelled out by Jordan Hugill’s penalty, substitute Andreas Weimann fired home from close range in the first minute of stoppage time after Rotherham goalkeeper Viktor Johansson palmed out a Kal Naismith shot.

Weimann’s 50th City goal took his side past last season’s Championship points tally.

Pearson said: “It has been a difficult season at times, but I think our fans have seen definite signs of progress.

“Now we have the points to back that up. With so many young players having gained experience in the Championship, I believe the right additions in the summer can make us contenders for the top six.

“We need to strengthen in certain areas and will do our best to get the right players in.

“What we already have is an identity to our team and a lot of talented youngsters who give us great energy.

“They will benefit from the games they have now got under their belts and I am excited about the future.

“This was a good win against a side fighting for their lives. It was a really good squad effort with one of our substitutes getting the winner.”

Pearson was shown a yellow card for protesting the Rotherham penalty, which came when Hugill was brought down by Zak Vyner, adamant that his team should have been awarded one in the first half.

“I have no idea what the card was for unless it was because the fourth official imploded,” he said.

“I am sick of talking about officials. Again we saw a lack of consistency over decisions.”

Rotherham came close to taking all three points themselves in the closing stages when substitute Shane Ferguson hit a post and Max O’Leary saved well from another replacement Georgie Kelly.

Boss Matt Taylor said: “We were off the pace in the first half, which can happen.

“A few of the players were carrying niggles and a big effort against Burnley last Tuesday night may have taken a toll.

“Bristol’s front players really impressed me and caused a lot of problems. They were better than us and the best thing that could be said is that we got to half-time still in the game.

“It was clear we had to change things and affect the match from the bench with some fresh legs and minds.

“The second half was much better. We played on the front foot and tried to take the game to the opposition.

“As the game progressed, I thought it might be our day to go and claim a winner.

“It was a cruel body blow when they scored so late. But that’s football and we have to bounce back quickly.

“Jordan Hugill is one of several players struggling physically at the moment and I was about to substitute him when he scored from the penalty.

“Georgie Kelly improved us by putting more pressure on the ball with his running. Not enough of our players ran hard enough in the first half.”

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