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Interview: Pearson calls for visible work rate and commitment

Nigel Pearson says City must strive for improved all-round performances as they look towards their next match in the Sky Bet Championship.

He described a “mixed week” after watching his conceded late goals in their first two games of the season including a Carabao Cup penalty defeat, but he was able to get more match minutes into the majority of his squad.

Looking forward the manager believes he has “better balances in the squad” and looks to see what they can do against a Middlesbrough side also looking to find a first win of the season.

“I think the squad has experienced some late heartbreak in both games,” said Pearson. “I thought we played pretty well against Blackpool and all but for one passage of play at the end we deserved to win. It’s a reminder of what football is about and as we found out at Forest Green, if you don’t take the chances or put your chances to bed by managing the game, you can come unstuck.

“It could have been a better week but I’m encouraged by how we played against Blackpool in the opening game. That day was a really good day for football, to have fans back in and it was good to see such a good crowd at Ashton Gate.

“It’s been a mixed week but having two games where almost the entirety of the squad have been able to get pitch time has been beneficial.

“Our fans have not had a lot of things to cheer about in the last six months or so, so we need to put in performances where they can see commitment and drive. I think we have a better balances squad this season, so as it progresses we should have more consistency to our play.”

Chris Martin scored in the 1-1 draw with Blackpool

Middlesbrough drew 1-1 with Fulham on the opening day of the league, while they exited the Carabao Cup after a 3-0 defeat to Blackpool in midweek.

Pearson was in the stands for that one as he cast an eye over Saturday’s opponents.

“Middlesbrough didn’t get the result they wanted but they split their squad as well. It will be a tough game up there but for me it’s about how we set up and perform ourselves.

“I want our work rate and collective commitment to be very visible, so we can get an away win which will set us up nicely. It will be a tough game, there’s no doubt about that.

“It’s about making sure our squad and whoever starts at the weekend are ready for the game.” Saturday's match (August 14th) is a 3pm kick-off.

Highlights: A 3-1 win last time at the Riverside Stadium

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