Bristol City manager Nigel Pearson has been discussing preparations for the new Championship campaign.
As well as chatting about the three missing players from pre-season training, Antoine Semenyo, Robbie Cundy and Louis Britton – with all three explained as nursing knee knocks, Pearson also revealed that Joe Williams is yet to join in full training after an injury-hit 2020/21.
The 57-year-old City boss also discussed his summer signings so far, with Matty James, Andy King and Rob Atkinson snapped up in recent weeks to bolster the Robins squad.
King and James both worked with Pearson at Leicester City, being promoted from the Championship in 2014, before achieving Premier League survival in 2015 the season after. Their relationship is now rekindled in BS3 and the experienced professionals should help City’s young academy graduates develop. Atkinson could be a star in the making.
“They’ve brought in exactly what we hoped they would bring in. They both [James and King] bring experience and knowhow but also professional drive,” explained Pearson in an interview on the official club website.
“When you watch them train, they’ll help enhance what we already have. That’s one of the interesting things here: we have a number of very talented young players but it’s difficult for them to find solutions on the pitch sometimes, and you’ve got experienced players alongside them so it’s about getting the blend right.
“Rob has come in and he’s a bit behind the rest of the squad fitness-wise but he’s a character and even in his few days training we’ve seen enough to suggest that he’ll do exactly what we expect him to do.
Meanwhile Pearson also discussed the return of experienced central defender Nathan Baker, the longest serving player at the club if you include his 2015/16 loan.
The Robins boss confirmed that Baker, 30, had accepted reduced terms to come back to Ashton Gate, after the club originally announced the central defender as being on the released list of players.
““To have Nathan Baker back as well is a real bonus and testament to him he was prepared to negotiate on lower terms which shows his personal commitment to what we’re trying to do as well,” added Pearson.
“That was a really pleasant surprise. Andi Weimann is in great condition as well, so all those things together feel like very positive moves for us – so far, so good,” he said.
Bristol City are into their second week of pre-season and face Celtic at the Robins High Performance Centre in six days.