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Pearson praises fightback    

Pearson’s first game in charge saw the Robins claim a 3-1 victory over Swansea to follow the result by the same scoreline in Middlesbrough just four days earlier.

There he had a watching brief 24 hours after his appointment as Assistant Head Coaches Keith Downing and Paul Simpson led City to victory that night but Pearson was full hands on at the Liberty Stadium.

It was in South Wales where goals from Nahki Wells, Kasey Palmer and Antoine Semenyo more than cancelled out Andre Ayew’s earlier penalty.

Pearson saluted the effort of players and staff, gathering them in a huddle at the final whistle, and telling Robins TV: “It’s an exceptionally important win for us, for the atmosphere and us as a group because we strive to create a culture which is based on sound values, wanting to work hard for each other and enjoying it as well.”

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“I give the players and the staff an awful lot of credit. They have been very supportive, very helpful and I recognise how difficult it is especially after the type of change with Dean (Holden) being a very popular character here. He did a good job in his first role as a head coach so I accept it won’t be straight forward to come in and effect the situation in a positive way."

Match highlights

Positivity

“I have sympathy for it being a potentially disruptive change but all I can ever do is try and be a part of a positive feel of the place, give people an opportunity to be involved and give them an opportunity to fail. It’s then about dealing with picking them up again; all these things are important aspects of how I believe is a good way to work.”

Nigel Pearson gathers together players and staff after the final whistle

Swansea possession

Swansea had 77 per cent of possession in the first half with 12 shots and six corners as City defended valiantly. Pearson reflected: “It was such an interesting game, We went out there with positive intentions to execute our own gameplan. It didn’t materialise in the way we wanted because Swansea dominated the ball, we had to work so hard out of possession, and we couldn’t get the quality going forward.”

Solid defending

The new manager praised the whole team’s defensive effort, saying: “It was frustrating for the players but what I like about how they approached it was the desire to keep the ball out of our goal and commit to what they wanted to do.

“It wasn’t successful in the first half but for our creative and forward-thinking players to work as hard as they did, knowing that the rewards for them would be minimal, was very impressive.

“Swansea could have been out of sight. If we were two or three goals down at half-time I wouldn’t have had complaints [about the scoreline] and the strange thing is we started the second half okay and went 1-0 down."

Ádám Nagy shows the grit that saw City fight back

Fighting back

City were level 10 minutes after Ayew’s spot-kick with Zak Vyner intercepting a loose ball beating Marc Guehi before playing the ball across the box for Wells who fired low past Freddie Woodman.

Palmer then had City in front after scoring directly from a corner and Semenyo pounced late when he closed down the goalkeeper before capitalising on the ricochet.

Pearson said: “There are lots of lessons to learn. When we changed shape we were more comfortable, we were more aggressive and able to press effectively and as a consequence we created a number of opportunities.

“All the goals were very different but the last one for Antoine was a lesson for anybody – put somebody under pressure and you get the rewards.”

Nahki Wells levelled for City
Dan Bentley was a rock in the Robins defence

Kasey Palmer

Palmer was back on Swansea turf for the first time after his loan spell in the first half of the season and Pearson said: “Kasey clearly had maybe a point to prove as well and was involved at both ends of the pitch. He, like all of the players, have been prepared to get on with the situation and I like the fact they are prepared to put themselves on the line and be visible, even if they make mistakes. That shows character, a commitment and that’s what we need.”

Kasey Palmer relished his return to Swansea

Ryler Towler

Pearson replaced young Ryley Towler with Steven Sessegnon just before half-time and praised the 18-year-old’s contributions against Middlesbrough and Swansea this week.

“Ryley’s had a great week: he’s been part of two away wins, he should be proud of his involvement and what the team’s achieved,” said Pearson. “I would have made the change at half-time but he had been booked and then he made a challenge which put him on thin ice. The team had to have 11 men on the pitch.

“I also have to protect young players who are in difficult situations. He stuck at his task very well and it’s not a criticism, it’s just we needed something different so that’s why we made the change.”

Ryler Towler made important contributions in away wins over Middlesbrough and Swansea

Bournemouth in town

City next face Bournemouth at Ashton Gate on Wednesday, live on Robins TV with coverage starting from 7.15pm.

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