Nigel Pearson praises Bristol City fans for playing their part in win over Stoke CIty
Bristol City were spurred on to victory by their fans yesterday in what was a nervy affair
A crowd of 16,949 at Ashton Gate took in a rare home win as Tyreeq Bakinson scored the only goal against play-off chasing Stoke.
The Robins, who have struggled at home in recent times, recorded just their second victory at home this season.
“I think when the nine minutes went up at the end, I suppose there is the thought of what people are going to be anxious about,” said Pearson to Robins TV.
“I think the volume went up in the stadium, the players looked determined. I thought all the subs that went on played a positive role as well. It was a good night for us but we know where we are at.
“When the nine minutes goes up, it’s very easy to hear the groans of anxiety, rather than that, there was a shift in volume. They got behind us the whole game which was really positive. They helped us to see the game over the line.”
City had to wave an early storm from the visiting side and in the first minute dealt with Steven Fletcher hitting his header against the post.
There were also some errors such as Joe Williams’ back pass feeding in Jacob Brown but fortunately he wasn’t punished.
After weathering the wave of attacks, the home side were able to hit a blow on Stoke, with Bakinson’s goal coming against the run of play.
“I’m delighted with the outcome, getting the three points and for the players. I thought the atmosphere and the collective spirit here today was very good.
“The fans knew that it was a tough game and one in which the opponents started well. They had chances, made us work very hard but tonight it was going to be more about the result than how we perform.
“There were some encouraging signs for us. It wasn’t just individually but collectively in terms of wanting to keep the ball out of the net and I think that shone through tonight.
“We’re not kidding ourselves that it’s going to be a tough old journey this season because we are a team and a club in transition. If we perform like that we’ll have more good days than bad days.”
There was individual praise reserved for full-backs Callum O’Dowda and Alex Scott, who are relishing in their new roles.
The pair, who are usually used to having an emphasis on attacking, have recently become accustomed to covering for their defenders.
They were both yellow carded with O’Dowda booked in the first minute whilst Scott was fortunate to escape a red, but the duo dealt with a potent Stoke attack.
Stoke City are a side when they defend deep they’re quite narrow,” Pearson said.
“It was always going to be important for us that our wide to our wing backs were basically man to man with their opponent. They had to work hard to win their own individual battles.
“I thought it was an interesting game in that regard but both Alex Scott and Callum O’Dowda had some real positive moments during the game, they worked exceptionally hard for the team.
“Tonight is about recognising the team’s effort shone through and in that you are going to get individual performances which also come through as being very important. I also think everyone played their part.”