Nigel Pearson inspired Kasey Palmer to ‘prove a point’ after Bristol City struggles

Kasey Palmer was allowed to leave Bristol City for Championship rivals Coventry City in the summer.

Kasey Palmer says he wants to prove a point at Coventry City as he aims to dispel the perception at Bristol City that he isn’t a hard worker. Palmer left Ashton Gate for the Sky Blues in the summer for an undisclosed fee.

The 26-year-old spent three-and-a-half-seasons as a Robins player after initially joining on loan from Chelsea in 2019. Palmer did spend time away on loan at Swansea City in 2020, but later returned.

Palmer struggled for game time when Nigel Pearson took over from Dean Holden. He initially played 14 games when he took over, but only managed to get three goal contributions.

The former Chelsea youth midfielder returned in the summer and found his opportunities limited. He started the first three matches of the 2021/22 campaign but found himself on the bench for long periods and out of match-day squads. In total he made eight appearances across all competitions and did not play a Championship game after October 19.

Now at Coventry, Palmer is regularly playing football and has helped their ascension up the league table. He has played 17 times so far this season, double the amount of games he featured in last year.

His motivation to succeed in the Midlands has come from how he believes he was perceived by his boss at Bristol City.

Speaking to the Coventry Telegraph, he said: “I think the perception of me was from my previous manager, for whatever reason, that Kasey doesn’t work hard enough, Kasey doesn’t do this or Kasey doesn’t do that.

“Naturally fans listen to what previous managers have said. So, for me, it was a case of proving a point that I can work hard.”

Palmer’s last involvement in a City shirt was coming on for a cameo appearance against Fulham in an FA Cup tie in January. Reports of a Deadline Day move to Severnside rivals Cardiff City surfaced but a move didn’t materialise.

Elements of doubt have crept into the mind over Palmer in his playing career. It hasn’t reached a stage as to whether he would retire early into his career, but whether he could play consistently in the Championship.

At Coventry, he has described it as one of the happiest times he’s had in his career, level on par with when he helped Huddersfield Town get promoted.

He said: “There have certainly been a lot of mental challenges over the last four or five years and there have been times when I have thought I can’t do this anymore; like nearly giving up situations.

“Not literally packing it in but just wondering whether this is ever going to happen for me, rather than calling it a day. But in my head I was constantly thinking, ‘am I ever going to get back to that level.

“Can I do it?’ And there have been a lot of times when I have been close to thinking I can’t get back to that level that I know I can, if you know what I mean.”

“But I kept going and kind of found myself again, and found my love for football again by finding a club that fits me.”