Bristol City cite Coventry City and Luton Town as motivation for Premier League push

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Bristol City begin pre-season in three weeks - and Nigel Pearson is hoping it's a campaign to remember for the Robins.

Nigel Pearson says he is keen to reward Bristol City fans for their patience with a play-off push this season.

The Robins boss is taking inspiration from Coventry City and Luton Town - who had been in the lower leagues in recent years, and battled against several sides with Premier League parachute payments - to make it to the Championship play-off final. City have still yet to play in the Premier League since its inception in 1992, and have not played in the top-flight since 1980.

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43-years is already a long wait, but in recent years, City fans have had to be patient in a different way, by accepting several seasons of transition, with several high earners moved off of the wage bill. All have been replaced by either recruits from the lower leagues or homegrown talent.

In the two-and-a-half-years Pearson has been at the club, there have been 18th, 17th and most recently 14th placed finishes, but there is a hope that in what is the 59-year-old’s final year of his three year deal, he can lead them to a top six finish.

“Our fan base have been very patient and very tolerant for the most part,” he said in an interview with the club.

“It’s also important that they believe we do have a chance of succeeding. My job along with everybody else here is to try and create a team that is capable of succeeding. If you look at the play-off stories and how Luton have done marvelous to get promoted and good luck to them.

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“Coventry after such a difficult start of not being able to play at their own stadium because of the state-of-the-pitch and playing catch-up for a while snuck in there.

“The play-off situation is one where you’ve got to be competitive to fight for those places. We believe we’re in a much better position now than we were 12 months ago.”

City have already been proactive in the transfer market, despite the window not opening until Wednesday, June 14. Rob Dickie and Ross McCrorie have both been announced this week, whilst Haydon Roberts is expected to follow.

Dickie arrived from QPR, who narrowly avoided the drop, whilst McCrorie has sacrificed European football with Aberdeen, to try and reach the top flight of English football. It is hoped their arrivals will add that bit of quality required to narrow the gap between City and the play-offs.

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Ten points separated sixth-placed Sunderland, who had only been promoted to the league this season, and City, who finished eight places below them. City had a strong second half of the campaign, but a series of injuries ended their momentum, but with two transfers already and more arrivals to follow, it is hoped the depth will help them mount a serious promotion push.

“It’s really important we strive to push on,” Pearson added.

“Hopefully, the additions that come into the squad help the players who have done exceptionally well here already to find that extra bit whatever that percentage is that gives you that added chance of being successful.

“We’ve got to do what we can and not worry about anybody else. I’m not really bothered about any other teams, we’ve proved we can play against the top sides.

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“We’ve got to make sure we put to bed some of those games we’ve sometimes come unstuck with a bit of carelessness. It’s not a huge jump over the course of the season to really make that difference, you’ve still got to go out and do it I am afraid.”

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