‘He’s capable’ - Nigel Pearson told to start Bristol City player and replace stand-in defender

Gary Owers has watched Bristol City regularly this season and suggested this defensive change
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Popular Bristol City figure Gary Owers has suggested making a change amongst the back line after their torrid display against Birmingham City.

The Robins suffered their biggest defeat of the season as they conceded a brace to defender Auston Trusty and Dion Sanderson.

All goals came from set pieces with Trusty breaching the City defence in the opening two minutes as he made the most of lapse defending. Sanderson twenty minutes from time then exploited a gap from another corner kick to pile the misery onto Nigel Pearson’s side.

After the match, supporters aired their frustrations to BBC Radio Bristol and suggested giving Timm Klose a start.

Klose was named in the match-day squad but was not brought on despite Andy King playing in the less familiar role as centre-back. Asked whether Klose would work in the system in the absence of Kal Naismith, he said: “It could,” Owers said on air.

Owers however was keen to make a different suggestion and believes that Cameron Pring should be considered an option.

Pring came on for Jay Dasilva in the second-half in a like-for-like change as a left wing-back, and had just over 15 minutes to showcase his worth. The 24-year-old had a spell at centre-back last year but has not been a regular in the team since February.

He has been suggested though to fill in the role Rob Atkinson is doing which would push the former Oxford United man in to the centre in Naismith’s absence.

Explaining his rationale, Owers said: “Cam Pring had a go when he come on. There wasn’t a lot of time to make an impact and certainly from left wing-back position.

“I look at the bench in fairness. Cam Pring is there and he’s capable of playing that left-side of a back three which would allow Atkinson (Rob) to come central.

“Andy King done well in midweek and on occasions was in the right-place at the right time this afternoon. He’s not a central defender, he’s not a natural defender and he’s sort of an older wiser experienced midfielder.”

“I wouldn’t put the blame on Andy King’s shoulders maybe selection was wrong. At the end game we all get it right when you make your calls but City did struggle and weren’t good as a defensive unit and that was throughout the team not just the defenders.”

In a frustrating day all round for City with no players coming out with any real praise of note, the ex-City and Sunderland man was willing to stick up for one player.

Club captain Daniel Bentley was beaten three times and his goal continues to be breached, making it one of the leakiest defences in the league.

Despite conceding three goals, there was a small amount of praise reserved for him after his saves prevented further damage.

He said: “I would stick up for Daniel Bentley because it was 3-0 against and I counted two one-v-ones in the first-half that he done really well with.

“There were two magnificent saves in the second-half to prevent certain goals, but for him the scoreline would have been a lot worse.”