Bristol City sprung a team selection surprise on Saturday afternoon for their final game of the season when the Robins lined up against Brentford without their captain.
Tomas Kalas was confirmed as fit before the game manager Nigel Pearson but as in need of a ‘break’, with Thomas Frank’s team visiting BS3.
The West Country men were looking to end the season with a positive result against the high-flying Bees but opted for Nathan Baker – making his second start of the season – and Adrian Mariappa in central defence instead, with the pair out of contract in the summer and possibly playing for their longer term futures in the South West.
Pearson discussed the team news before the game.
“We know it’s been disappointing. Our recent form has been miles away from what we want. It’s a chance now against a very good side to look at giving more opportunities to more players,” said Pearson ahead of the final Championship fixture of 2020/21.
“Alex Scott deserves his chance, for a 17-year-old against the third-best team in the Championship, it’s going to be a big day for him but I know he’s up for it.
“Antoine was going to be playing but he had a knock in training yesterday to his knee. It’s not worth the risk.
“In terms of Tomas, he needs a break as well. It’s relatively straightforward in my own world in thinking about how we freshen things up for the new season.
Kalas was at fault for a goal against Millwall in the 4-1 loss at the Den last weekend and after the game his manager had suggested that his place in the side to face the Bees was in jeopardy.
“I couldn’t put it [the error] down to just a lack of confidence. Who knows? Players have to be visible and players have to accept responsibility for mistakes. We’ll see whether he responds in the right way if he’s selected next week,” Pearson told Bristol Live folllowing the loss.
Kalas has played 40 games in the Championship this campaign, starting 38 games and coming off the bench in two, the most appearances in his three seasons at the club.