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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Saturday, March 6th 2021

‘We were too passive’ - Pearson

Nigel Pearson admitted that City were too "passive" and didn’t "take the game to QPR" as the Robins were beaten at Ashton Gate.

A header from Ilias Chair gave the R’s the lead, which was doubled through Rob Dickie after Yoann Barbet hit the post.

🎥 Watch: Nigel Pearson post-QPR

The City manager told Robins TV: "The biggest disappointment would be to make the observation that we let the game pass us by and that’s not something we should be identified by. 

“I think it’s important for me to think about how we move forward from here in terms rectifying days when I just sense a bit of a passive mood.

“At the end of the day this is my team, it reflects on me, so I don’t like that. I want us to try and create a collective winning mentality which allows us to win games when we aren’t at our best.”

Collective responsibility

Pearson stressed the collective responsibility needed for the remaining 11 Sky Bet Championship games, saying: “If we are going to create an identity as a team and club that is very positive, it has to be driven by how we perform and today we just didn’t start well enough. Our midfield were unable to bring any real positivity, both in and out of possession, so it makes it more difficult. When you concede goals that we’ve not really made QPR work hard enough to score then you’re in for a tough afternoon, but I don’t like a sort of passive feel.

“We’ve got players who are playing a lot of games but they are fit enough to play a lot of games, and we just didn’t take the game enough to QPR and make them work hard enough.”

Season run-in

“We need to learn from this experience quickly. I really don’t want us to finish the season with the feeling that we are not looking to improve and so it will be about making adjustments and continuing to set standards that I think are right for us. As I say, we all have responsibility and I want to see players individually accepting responsibility but more importantly to have this collective drive to make things happen."

Substitutions

City lost Ádám Nagy and Zak Vyner to head injuries in the 31st and 37th minutes and Pearson explained: “I look at the second half - when we’ve used all of our substitutes to deal with our problems in the first half - and I thought we had a very honest performance where at least we asked some questions of them.

“I was going to make a couple of substitutions anyway. I don’t like doing that early in the game. I want to give players a chance to get into the game, but we were overrun and that’s disappointing because the same players have put together three really positive performances.

“It’s a frustrating situation not just for myself and staff but for the players as well. This is not a blame game; this is a recognition that things didn’t occur the way we wanted them to occur during the game.”

Sam Pearson's debut

Teenager Sam Pearson would come off the bench to make his City debut and while it was a result to forget, the 19-year-old certainly caught the eye.

Pearson added: “Of course, picking up injuries in the fashion we have, really does put us in quite a thin situation in term of availability but as Sam Pearson showed when he came on, and Antoine, they brought some real positivity to the team and I won’t be afraid of doing that.

“The circumstances for a youngster to go on in the situation that we had isn’t easy. I thought he showed an understanding for how we needed to work hard to stay in the game, he showed good game understanding and some real flashes of quality as well. He can be proud of his efforts today but of course we don’t like to lose games.”

City head to St Andrew's versus Birmingham City next Saturday (March 13th, 3pm KO) when they return to Sky Bet Championship football, live on Robins TV.

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