Nigel Pearson praises away point for Bristol City
Nigel Pearson, the Bristol City manager, was pleased with the way his team fought to earn a point away to Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday night.
However, the point did not help their promotion hopes as they dropped one place to thirteenth in the standings, now 12 points off the play-off places. Bermuda striker Nahki Wells was substituted in the 65th minute as City tried in vain to penetrate the Blackburn defence.
It was also a rare clean sheet for City, who have one of the worst defensive records in the Sky Bet Championship, having conceded 48 goals in 37 games.
Wells has been a regular starter in the team since Pearson was brought in to replace Dean Holden, who was fired in mid-February after six straight losses. Pearson praised the team’s defending and said the players can be pleased with the hard-earned point at Ewood Park.
“I’m not going to get my singing voice back anytime soon but yes we’ve won enough games, lost far too many and tonight is a really constructive point because we weren’t at our best in the first half but we worked very hard,” Pearson said after the match.
“In the second half we showed a bit more game understanding, more organisation. We still created reasonable chances in what was a tight game. We knew they would be a good passing team with rotation, and we gave the ball away too much in the first half.
“If we had had a few more scruffy points over the course of the season we might be better placed but this is learning experience for all of us.”
Pearson added: “I was absolutely delighted with the application again and the players’ ability to make it work. We can’t always be easy on the eye but what we can’t do when we’re not easy on the eye is concede goals too easily.
“It’s a very constructive night for us, considering our away form of late has been good and what we have to do now is start to apply the same values at home.
“We kept them at arm’s length and especially in the second half we were relatively low pressured but, when they came into our half, we put them under a lot of pressure.”
City were forced to replace regular goalkeeper Dan Bentley with Max O’Leary because of illness and he kept the clean sheet with a couple of important saves in his second league match of the season.
“Some of our defending was great and Max, for all of their possession, didn’t have too much to do,” Pearson said. “That reflects the game very well and at the other end we looked dangerous at times but we know we didn’t make enough of our possession.”
The draw leaves City level on 49 points with Millwall, Stoke and Queens Park Rangers,with nine games remaining.
City will look to pass the 50-point mark tomorrow when they welcome Rotherham United to Ashton Gate.