‘Hardball’ - Bristol City boss on Alex Scott’s disciplinary conundrum and transfer value

Alex Scott could face a two-match ban, but Bristol City boss Nigel Pearson isn’t concerned
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Nigel Pearson has admitted he isn’t worried about losing key man Alex Scott through suspension and stressed the importance of getting the ‘right valuation’ if the midfielder is to leave the club.

Scott has picked up nine yellow cards in the league this season, and one more would rule him out for two matches for the Robins. The good news is that the record will be reset after Wednesday’s match against Luton Town, so if the 19-year-old can avoid a caution in London, the rule will no longer apply.

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When quizzed on the situation, Pearson replied: “I don’t really want to say anything about it, I don’t want it to affect how he plays. If he starts and he probably will, I want him to play like himself again.

“If we miss him we miss him, I’m not going to get bogged down with that sort of thinking.”

The teenager has been on the verge of a two-match ban since his caution against Preston North End in early February but has since gone seven matches without a booking.

Scott, though, hasn’t been playing within himself, and has continued his dynamic style and tough tackling in the middle of the park.

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“He always tries to manage himself as well as possible,” Pearson added. “Some of the earlier bookings he had earlier in the season... There is no point going over old ground, but some of them were very debatable. He’s got this far, let’s hope he goes one more game because he’s a very consistent performer for us and he’s a great player. Hopefully, we can keep him available.”

The talented midfielder’s reputation as one of England’s brightest prospects has grown tenfold over recent months, with his consistent performances in the Championship earning interest from several Premier League clubs.

Pearson reiterated after Saturday’s win against Blackpool that the club are yet to receive an offer for Scott, and denied that the reported interest from numerous topflight clubs strengthens the Robins’ position.

“It’s important with any players we have, and it goes for anybody, that we get what we feel is the right valuation for us. Hardball? I don’t see it like that.

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“Decisions will be made at a higher level than mine, we will do it collectively as a club, we will make decisions we feel are best for us as a club. Until somebody within our football club comes to me and says we’ve had a bid and we’ve accepted it, it’s not something I think about.

“It’s background noise that is going to be there. I’d rather have background noise because our players are good than because we’re not doing very well. It’s just my way looking at it, you’ll continue to ask me the same questions every week and I’ll try and vary my answers to make it less boring.”

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