‘Life’ - Bristol City boss issues verdict on controversial Preston goal

Nigel Pearson gave his verdict on Preston’s equaliser (Image: getty images) Nigel Pearson gave his verdict on Preston’s equaliser (Image: getty images)
Nigel Pearson gave his verdict on Preston’s equaliser (Image: getty images)
Bristol City conceded a controversial equaliser to Preston, denying them all three points at Ashton Gate.

Nigel Pearson felt aggrieved with Preston North End’s equaliser in their 1-1 draw with Bristol City on Saturday, in their opening match of the Championship season.

Sam Bell had put the hosts in front early in the second half before some persistent away pressure saw Will Keane find a late equaliser.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But, Pearson was unhappy with the awarding of the goal and felt that it should’ve been ruled out. “With their goal it was handball,” he said. “But the ref is not in a position to see it. We don’t have VAR, and unfortunately, that’s life.”

Though the equalising goal was a frustration, the manager didn’t blame the failure of his side to secure all three points solely on the situation.

“It was a game where we weren’t allowed to play fluidly,” he said. “They were very stubborn and didn’t allow us to exploit space in behind much. They were quite deep.

“We couldn’t get that rhythm and that’s credit to them, they came with a plan where they wanted to negate our strengths and we have to be able to deal with those sorts of problems as the season goes on and we will do.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The mood around the camp pre-game was very positive, and a home win on the first day of the season would’ve been the ultimate aim. However, it wasn’t to be.

“It’s disappointing for us not to come away with three points because we worked hard to get in front but in fairness to them, they had one or two chances after we scored the goal. It’s a reminder of how ruthless the Championship is.

“It’s a tough league, and we’ll play better and not come away with anything. It would have been a big thing for us to come away with the three points having been stop-start today. It wasn’t a game with a lot of flow. The conditions weren’t particularly good out there either and I’m sure they’ll be very pleased with the result.”

Goalscorer Bell was a constant threat in the side of the Preston defence, and the young forward’s pace has been discussed a lot behind the scenes.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We’ve talked about this as a potential situation in games where teams will not want to give us too much space behind,” he said. “Because as Sam Bell proved on numerous occasions when we’ve got space to run into, we caused teams big problems.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.