Bristol City suffer selection headache as Nigel Pearson makes worrying admission

Bristol City have a short turn-around for their next Championship fixture against Sheffield United on Tuesday.

Nigel Pearson is unsure of how Bristol City squad will look ahead of their next match with Sheffield United as illness runs wild through their squad.

Three Robins players had suffered with flu-like symptoms in the build-up to their match with Swansea City. The players did not integrate back with the squad until Thursday and the 59-year-old took the decision to leave out several players.

Pearson this week was required to call upon several Under-21’s players to fill in the gaps left by senior first-team players. The club have attempted to battle the illness through medication but the situation at the moment is unpredictable.

An eleventh hour decision was made to withdraw centre-back Rob Atkinson from the team after the defender was ruled out with illness. Cameron Pring, who hadn’t started a league game this term came in his place.

Pearson said: “We just made a decision that Rob couldn’t play and we told the referee and asked for a sick note for Rob which was protocol and Pringy goes in there, he did well.”

“The players have been taking medication to limit the effects of flu all week and they’ll have probably another five days of taking it, but how it moves forward I honestly can’t tell you at the moment.

"And we’ll probably have more. When it runs through the club, I can’t tell you who’ll be available for the midweek game, it depends on who has to deal with a bit of illness.”

It was also revealed that Alex Scott who played 81 minutes, was also one of the players who came down with a bout of illness. He made way for Joe Williams, who had dropped to the bench after four consecutive starts.

“The players have been taking medication to limit the effects of flu all week and they’ll have another five days of taking it,” Pearson added. “How it moves forward I honestly couldn’t tell you at the moment.

“Tomorrow, we’ll take a headcount tomorrow. Something could develop like Rob today which developed late and we can’t do much about that.”

It was a makeshift defence with Timm Klose also absent whilst Kal Naismith and Tomas Kalas had already been ruled out with calf injuries. Zak Vyner started in the centre and had George Tanner on the right of him and Pring to his left. Tanner made his first league start since November 2021.

“It was a good game for them because Swansea passed the ball and we had some pace at the back today,” he said. “All five have good pace to have a back three as mobile as ours today was good. I thought they dealt with everything they needed to. They can be satisfied with their contributions.”