BRISTOL CITY: NIGEL PEARSON'S RAVING ROBINS
On the 22nd of February after Dean Holden’s sacking, Nigel Pearson was announced as Bristol City’s manager on a deal to the end of the season. Bristol City had gone on a six game losing streak under Holden, including an embarrassing 6-0 loss to Watford!
As a player he played over 100 games for Shrewsbury Town, Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough. In his managerial career he has managed 9 clubs, he earnt most of his praise at Leicester City getting them promoted out of League 1 then returning to club when they were a sinking ship but Pearson guided them to safety. Then on the 7th of February 2015, Leicester City played Crystal Palace and lost 1-0. The main talking point came from a clash between Pearson and James McArthur which ended with Pearson strangling the Palace midfielder. On 30 June 2015, however, Pearson was sacked, with the club stating that "the working relationship between Nigel and the Board was no longer viable."
The next day after Pearson’s arrival Bristol City travelled up north to play a challenging Middlesbrough side. They went into the game with barely threatening an opposition team’s goal. However, in the 21st minute Adam Nagy played a deceiving ball into the box for fan favourite Famara Diedhou to nod the ball past Bettinelli’s goal! From that point on Diedhou and Wells linked up to put Bristol City 3-0 up going into half time! They went onto win 3-1 and filled a lot of Bristol City fan’s hearts with relief.
Four days later they would travel to a Swansea side who had been beaten one time at home all season. Pearson set up an unchanged side (3-5-2) from their win at Middlesbrough. After an anti-climatic first half Dan Bentley had kept Bristol City in the match after numerous saves. At half time Bristol City had 24% and no shots on target. In the 55thminute the game took a turn, former Swan’s player Kasey Palmer seemed to have handballed in the box and Andre Ayew scored a penalty to give Swansea the lead. He stepped up and placed the ball calmly into Dan Bentley’s left handside of the goal. After the goal Pearson moved versatile City player Zak Vyner into centre midfield and changed the formation to a 4-3-3. Then 11 minutes later Pearson’s change seemed to have been a fantastic one! Zak Vyner pressed high up the field to win the ball and cut back to Nahki Wells to equalise for Bristol City. Kasey Palmer then earned the respect back of Bristol City fans as he scored directly from a corner. Swansea pressed for an equaliser but substitution Semenyo put the game away in the 96th minute when he pressed Freddie Woodman and forced a mistake and scored an easy tap in.
On Wednesday evening they faced another hard test at home against Bournemouth, City took the lead after a Tyreeq Bakinson header looped into Begovic’s goal. On the brink of halftime Dan Bentley made his first mistake of the season pushing the ball into his net. After a null second half Philip Billing won the game late on from a header.
Although Bristol City didn’t get at least a draw against Bournemouth if you asked a Bristol City fan about their happiness levels about the last 3 results and performances they would be very happy. They have now 3 very winnable games which could form the foundations for a late playoff push!