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Pearson undaunted by task ahead

Nigel Pearson remains unfazed by the challenge ahead after watching his side slip to a 4-1 defeat to Millwall.

The manager knows time is needed to turn the club’s fortunes around after another setback which sees the Robins winless in their last nine games.

Pearson watched his side battle back as Academy graduate Tommy Conway scored his first professional goal before the Lions retook the lead before half-time and pounced twice in the second half.

Watch: Pearson's post-match reaction

When asked about the task at hand, Pearson, who on Thursday signed a three-year contract, told Robins TV: “It’s bigger than I thought, that’s the honest way of looking at it but that doesn’t dent my optimism in how it needs to be turned around. I’ve committed my future here and I’m pleased to have done that but there is a lot of work to be done.

Demands

“This is my team so I take the responsibility but there has to be a shift in the collective mentality and accountability. It’s obvious we don’t have the tools to deal with it. You can talk about players being absent, but I still expect anyone who puts on our shirt and goes on to the field to be able to deal with the mental demands and the expectation on them to perform. That didn’t happen enough today.

“If I was in any doubt about the size of the task, today’s showing does underline the work that needs to be done.”

Changes

He added he was seeing a repetition of mistakes and has not shied away from suggesting changes will be needed in the near future.

He said: “We’re seeing the same things: goals given away without the opponents needing to work as hard as they should. It’s a very frustrating time and there will be changes in how it looks moving forward.

“We need to be much fitter and the fact we’re not fit enough is probably one of the main factors for picking up the injuries we have. We have to negotiate this last game of the season and if we put on a showing like that [today] it’s going to be a tough day.

“I will see this week who’s up for the journey and who’s not and the ones who aren’t will be casualties.”

Actions rather than words

Pearson says he will not name names at this stage but was open to praise his less experienced members of the squad.

He said: “We have a week to go so I don’t think publicly it’s the right thing to make any comment. I will let the actions speak for myself and the club. It remains a huge frustration for everyone associated with the club because we’ve got a sound infrastructure and facilities with are exceptional. We can’t match that on the field at the moment.”

Young players

“The young players continue to show the right qualities, that’s important for us. They have a lot to learn of course but this is a testing challenge for sure and it’s what I’m here to do.

“Tommy will be thinking about the chance he missed, that’s the nature of the game. He’ll learn from it and again he was a positive performer. Alex Scott showed real ability and drive. It bodes well for us but at a time like this it’s not about trying to look for the positives. We have the responsibility of dealing with yet another defeat where we’ve not worked how we should have done to prevent it.

'We will get it right'

“It remains a very difficult problem to solve but it’s what I’m here to do. My opinion on this is I need, and we need, enough solution-based people at this football club. We will get it right but in the short term it’s difficult to frame it in a way people believe, but that’s how it is.”

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