Home Sports Nigel Pearson spots a Bristol City weakness shown up by Middlesbrough that...

Nigel Pearson spots a Bristol City weakness shown up by Middlesbrough that needs eliminating


Like in so many games, there were both positives and negatives on show in the North East on Saturday afternoon, despite Bristol City losing 2-1 to Neil Warnock’s Middlesbrough.

City played very well for a long spell after half-time (following Uche Ikpeazu scoring late in the forst half) and once the Robins had equalised from Andy King’s header from a Matty James free-kick, the West Country outfit looked like the side in the ascendency.

Unfortunately, the Robins conceded from a set-piece as Matt Crooks ran onto Ikpeazu’s headed knockdown and the 70th minute goal punctured City’s momentum and proved to be the match-winner.

After the game manager Nigel Pearson gave his views on the match, including picking out a similarity between all three goals conceded in the league so far: that all three have been converted from within the six-yard box, a clear area to improve on with a trip to Reading coming up next.

Bristol City are winless in 12 league games and Pearson’s side could do with a result to get their season started. Here’s his verdict on the loss to Boro and more.

What are your thoughts on the defeat, Nigel?

We were a bit careless today. We had enough possession, had enough opportunities in the game to get something out of it. I thought we looked pretty comfortable for most of the game.

We know that Boro are very much a team who want to put pressure on you with set-plays and they did today. We gave two needless set-plays away. After fighting and getting back into it… The two goals we conceded were very, very sloppy.

Rob Atkinson of Bristol City is challenged by Jonathan Howson of Middlesbrough.
Rob Atkinson of Bristol City is challenged by Jonathan Howson of Middlesbrough.

Is that particularlly frustrating that you got back into it and you give away another sloppy free-kick?

Yes, of course it is.

At 1-1, they [Boro] probably had the better of the first half but if anyone looked like going on to win it then it was probably Bristol City…

That’s how football sometimes shapes up. I think the first half we were careless, we were realtively comfortable and our quality in possession at times wasn’t what I’d expect it to be.

So the quality of the pass that we gave to team-mates was not a standard I would expect.

You [Bristol City] and Boro are probably similar teams in that you’re hoping to upset where the bookies have placed you, and to break into the playoffs and things like that. How do you see Boro after today? Could they be the team that does that?

I couldn’t tell you. I saw them at Blackpool in midweek and I don’t think you’d have said that on that occasion. Who knows?

Neil’s sides are always hard-working and committed and I have a lot of respect for them, so it depends if he’s able to keep his important players fit, I would imagine, like it is for all of us.

Coming out of this game, what do Bristol City need to work on?

Not beeing careless, quite frankly. The three goals we’ve conceded in the league have all been from within the six-yard box, and I expect us to be able to deal with situations in which we’ve conceded, better than we have so far.

Back to work.

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