‘He has got to’ - Nigel Pearson told to start Bristol City player and who to drop

Bristol City have one of the best goals-per-minutes strikers in the Championship but is it time to unleash him from the off?

Ex- Bristol City midfielder turned-pundit Gary Owers says now is the time to start Antoine Semenyo after a series of substitute appearances.

Semenyo has yet to start for the Robins this season with Nigel Pearson easing him back to fitness after a shin injury sustained with Ghana in the summer.

The 22-year-old replaced Tommy Conway at half-time against Queens Park Rangers in what was the longest period he has spent on the pitch so far.

In just 195 minutes of pitch-time in the Championship, the Ghana international has scored three goals, ranking him as one of the best strikers in the division for goals-per-game.

Semenyo has had to settle for a place on the bench with Conway stepping up to the plate with five goals in 11 games, but now a Robins legend has urged Pearson to make the change.

“I think he has got to,” Owers responded when asked whether Semenyo has to start by Geoff Twentyman on BBC Radio Bristol.

“I think Tommy might have picked up an injury. Listen Tommy’s been brilliant. He’s getting the plaudits and he’s been called up for Scotland, everything is happening very quickly for him. He will be trying to take it all in and enjoy it hopefully because he’s made a fantastic impact.

“With young players, there is a time to put them in. I’m not saying take out one of your leading scorers and sit him on the bench because he’s done so well and scored goals.

“There is a time and place to take them out of the side for a number of reasons due to which it might be the right time.”

Bottom-of-the-table Coventry City are the next opponents for Bristol City, in another home match at Ashton Gate.

Coventry claimed a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough which saw an end to Chris Wilder’s reign as manager of Boro.

City have already beaten the Sky Blues before, beating them convincingly at the Pirelli Stadium in the first round of the Carabao Cup.

It was the first win of the campaign and began a long unbeaten run, but after suffering defeat to Norwich City, they have suffered back-to-back defeats and are now winless in their last three.

City have dropped to 13th in the league standings but Owers, who played for four-years between 1994 and 1998, wants to see them get back to basics on Tuesday evening.

He said: “We have seen that when City are at their best and they are counter-attacking, they get beyond and around defences. They’re cutting ball backs and they’ve got people running in to the box but the build-up play was slow and predictable.

“Tuesday is important and you just want to see City get back to the way that they have been playing earlier in the season; high energy and attacking exciting football.”