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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Wednesday, July 28th 2021

Interview: 'We've embraced the pre-season challenge'

Nigel Pearson is pleased by the progress which has been made as he looks ahead to a final pre-season fixture against Aston Villa this coming weekend.

There were 90 minutes ticked off for the majority of Pearson’s players during Tuesday’s Devon double-header, with two Robins teams in action beating Exeter City 4-0 and Plymouth Argyle 1-0, respectively.

It’s been a gruelling pre-season for the group but one which should stand them in good stead once the season kicks off in just over a week’s time.

The players have come through the tests thrown at them so far, both in game scenarios and on the training pitches.

🎥 Watch Nigel Pearson’s post-game interview:

Speaking after the win at Plymouth, Pearson said: “We haven’t picked up any niggles or injuries and our players seem much more able to cope with the demands of the game.

“We know it’s pre-season games but it’s still important we get enough pitch time and I’ve enjoyed seeing how they’ve embraced the challenge of this pre-season. The collective spirit is good, it will be good to get them back together later in the week and for that game against Aston Villa.”

Tyreeq Bakinson scored from the spot at the Cliff Hill Training Ground against Exeter City
Andi Weimann netted the only goal v Plymouth, celebrating in front of supporters once again

He added: “We’ve really improved the fitness element but then it’s dealing with the demands both physically and mentally of the campaign, so the players are looking forward to the new season. They’ve approached the games positively and I think we’ll be in a good position - but time will tell.”

Tuesday’s friendly at Home Park saw City play in front of supporters for the first time since March 2020. City fans made the trip to take their seats in the Barn End Stand, ahead of what will be an emotional return to Ashton Gate for Saturday’s fixture against Villa (July 31st, 1pm KO) and the Championship opener against Blackpool a week later (August 7th, 3pm KO).

“It’s great to see the fans back in a stadium and that in itself is a good experience,” said Pearson.

“Our fans have had to be very patient as have the whole of the football fraternity has. It’s just good to have the people who really matter back, and those are the people who go to every ground in the country to watch their team and it was good to see our fans here as well.”

Can't make it to Ashton Gate for City's upcoming fixtures? Both games will be streamed live on Robin TV with passes now available for the visit of Dean Smith's Villa.

Get your Robins TV Pass


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