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Pearson wants to see squad resilience

Nigel Pearson has spoken of the need for resilience with less than a quarter of the Sky Bet Championship season remaining.

The Robins have 11 matches left, starting with Saturday’s trip to Birmingham City (March 13th, 3pm KO), live on Robins TV.

He recognises City’s form has been far from their expectations as they looking to bounce back on the road after two defeats at Ashton Gate. The Robins have won their last two away matches, both 3-1 wins over Middlesbrough and Swansea, respectively.

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“Looking at the game against QPR we were far too open, we gave them opportunities to boss the game and we need to eradicate that and not allow them to do that quite so often,” Pearson told Robins TV.

“It’s really important we weather this difficult period as it has been a trying experience for everyone. It’s been frustrating for the fans and for the players. It tests their resolve and what we have to do is find a long-term solution to our difficulties in terms of staying in games.

“We have won enough games, we haven’t drawn enough games and we’ve lost too many, so that’s where we have to be more resilient collectively.”

Pearson spoke about how much time can be spent on physical training during a relentless schedule.

He said: “It’s always about getting the balance right between the two. At this stage of the season with the numbers game being played it’s rare to get any training adaptations physically. Certainly those coming back from injury have a more realistic chance of that but it’s more about getting the players playing with cohesive energy together.”

Among those back on the pitches are Callum O’Dowda, Liam Walsh, Marley Wakins and Nathan Baker. The latter three haven’t played for City this season, with Watkins picking up an injury while on loan at Aberdeen.

O’Dowda has been on the sidelines since the Boxing Day win against Wycombe Wanderers but all featured in the Under-23s’ 2-0 win against QPR on Tuesday.

“There is the possibility of them being involved in the squad but it’s resisting the temptation to throw them in there,” Pearson explained. “It’s important when they’re back from injury that they are here for the longer-term. Off the back of a couple of defeats there’s the temptation to make the changes that puts those types of players at risk.”

Zak Vyner and Ádám Nagy will continued to be assessed ahead of the weekend, after both suffered head injuries against QPR a week ago. Both are undergoing the six-day Football Association Graduated Return to Play Protocols for players in an Enhanced Care setting but Pearson stressed "if there are any risks they won’t be involved."

Birmingham City versus Bristol City will be streamed live on Robins TV, with the pre-match build-up from 2.30pm, and Rene Gilmartin as guest and commentator.

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