How Nigel Pearson plans to address Bristol City’s Nahki Wells issue against Coventry City
and live on Freeview channel 276
The striker was forced off early on in City’s season opener against Preston North End, which saw him miss the first seven weeks of the campaign.
The Scot has come off the bench in the Robins’ last three matches and notched a brilliant brace in their dramatic win against Rotherham United. With Nahki Wells injured for this weekend's clash against the Sky Blues, Conway could make his first start since the opening day.
Pearson said: “He looks in really good condition physically, as well as that he is mentally ready for the challenge of starting if he’s selected of course. We’ll assess it again, we’ve trained this morning and done an 11-v-11.”
In the past, City have perhaps brought players back into the team sooner than they should have, and Pearson is a big advocate of doing what is right for the player and not the team.
The manager said he is confident that the striker is ready for a full return, but that only time will tell whether he is right.
Pearson explained: “What you’ve always got to remember with players that are explosive like him, Sam Bell, Ephraim or Nahki. Any player that is that way inclined, you’ve got to be very careful, especially when it’s a hamstring injury as Tommy has had to overcome. If we decide to select him of course, there are never any guarantees.
“You can tell by looking at him that he is ready, but of course, is in his own head? What you don’t want with players is that there is a nagging doubt in the back of their head saying ‘am I alright?’ And ‘can I make those runs?’
“If he’s selected, I expect him to run in behind. I’m not picking him to get on the ball and mess about with it, he’s in there to score goals and make runs.”
Though Conway looks likely to start, Pearson insisted that there are several other candidates to fulfil the sole striker role.
Harry Cornick has put in some strong performances off the bench this season, while young talent Ephraim Yeboah has also looked lively. Andi Weimann has had a spell out with a recurring heel issue but is now firmly in calculations to start in some capacity.
Pearson explained: “What we do have is lots of options in terms of attacking options. Andi Weimann is a player that has not been mentioned too much but he’s in really good condition and mentally ready to play. Ephraim has made huge strides this season, and I wouldn’t have any worries about him starting a game.
“I think Harry Cornick has really improved this season as well. He’s had some really positive impacts in games and I think that is something in forward positions and in midfield we do have options.”