Nigel Pearson pleased with Bristol City’s determination in win at Stoke
Nigel Pearson was pleased with Bristol City’s determination as they snatched a late 1-0 win away at Stoke.
The Robins found a breakthrough in the 84th minute in fortunate circumstances, with Jay Dasilva’s cross sailing beyond an unexpectant Jack Bonham in the hosts’ net.
Michael O’Neill’s side had chances aplenty to have the game out of sight, with Jacob Brown testing Daniel Bentley and Lewis Baker prodding narrowly wide in the first half.
The Potters’ ascendancy continued beyond the interval, with Baker failing to convert an enticing Josh Maja delivery from close range while also having a delicate free-kick strike the crossbar.
The result ensures the Robins’ Championship status is secured for another season, while Stoke – who had won three out of four games entering the fixture – saw their mini-revival brought to a disappointing end.
A delighted Pearson said: “The most important thing was going to be some of the qualities we were missing last week, so I said about personality and I thought we showed it in abundance today.
“It was a collective effort, a bit gritty against a side who have got quite a bit of quality, but they must be pulling their hair out – the two games we’ve played against them this year, I’m sure that they’ll feel they could’ve won both games but we’ve had those feelings many times this year.
“It was always going to be about the way that we approached it, even if we had drawn or lost it, that still would have been the most important thing for me. It’s nice to get rewards for hard and honest endeavour, so it was a good away performance. We were stubborn, organised and counter-attacked with some real threat.
“There was a determination that everybody could see out there. I’m really pleased for the players today.”
The hosts will feel aggrieved after squandering a sequence of glorious opportunities throughout the match.
Defender Taylor Harwood-Bellis set the tone for the afternoon when he failed to convert from close range inside six minutes, while Potters top scorer Brown was frustrated by Bentley’s full-stretch save.
The lively Baker should have handed Stoke the advantage from Maja’s precise cross and was then unfortunate when his set-piece rebounded off the woodwork 10 minutes from time.
But ultimately the home side’s wastefulness was punished by Dasilva’s late strike against the run of play.
A frustrated O’Neill said: “We learned a lot about some of the lads today. That’s not a personal criticism but you’ve got to show character, be brave, play forward and not be reliant on one or two players to drag you through the game.
“You need eight or nine to drag you through the game, but we didn’t have enough players prepared to do that today.
“We didn’t play at the right level; we shouldn’t have lost the game, but we didn’t play with enough decisiveness. You’ve got to have the character to play; it’s not that we didn’t try but we were too indecisive.
“We missed really good opportunities to create really good chances, and that was the most frustrating thing, to be honest. We were making bad decisions and probably what we don’t have in our team is a dribbler so you’re constantly having to combine to try and break lines, and that’s proving to be difficult at the minute.”
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