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‘Let’s play without fear’ - Pearson

Nigel Pearson believes his squad can end the season positively if they can play without fear in their final three games.

The City manager wants his players to give their all and show a response in the last matches of the 2020/21 campaign, which start with Sunday’s home fixture versus Luton Town (April 25th, 1pm KO).

Watch: Pearson previews Luton Town

Pearson told Robins TV: “I would like to see a response in terms of how we go about playing those games for 95 minutes each time. We’ve had spells where we’ve done okay and then the other night it was a bit of an Achilles heel for us in terms of conceding goals, allowing other teams to dominate us and that remains a real frustration.

“I’m not suggesting some players aren’t trying but we have a situation where we’re not doing enough and that’s not an easy thing to admit.”

He added: “This season is about finishing so we feel positive about ourselves and at the moment we can’t do that because of our form but also performances are just not what we want.”

To raise those performances Pearson stressed his squad must show “pride” and “self-esteem” as they look to show a response to supporters.

“It remains a frustration for everybody and our fans have questioned us, which I fully understand, but what we need to do is respond to that in the right way,” Pearson said.

“Words like ‘pride’ come into it, self-esteem and we need to make sure we answer our critics with the right intentions.

“I would much rather we fail giving 100% and showing the attributes we’re looking for. At the moment there’s an element of fear, players are fearful of making mistakes and that they will make more mistakes.”

Pearson added: “We don’t have a big pack to shuffle at the minute so it will be interesting to see our players respond again. Luton have had a good season but again we talk about the reasons we haven’t done as well as we should be and that’s about us, rather than the other team. We need to maximise what we have and we haven’t done that. For where we aspire to be and where we are there’s a difference which we need to work on and address.”

Picking up results in the short-term is one thing, but Pearson is keen for the side to be a force in the long term.

He continued: “I think we all believe we should be achieving more here, we’re not and that’s the reality. There’s no point hiding from the fact we aspire to a be a top-flight club. The foundations are there but we haven’t got the detail of the most important part and that’s playing squad which is capable of producing performances throughout the entirety of the season.

“We’ve had a trend of doing okay and then trailing off, so we need to address that. We have to tried to find solutions for the immediate problem and that’s our form and results, but the bigger picture is something different.”

City versus Luton Town will be streamed live on Robins TV. The Matchday Show, which costs just £10, starts at 12.30pm.

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