Nigel Pearson admitted that his Bristol City side would welcome a player like Phil Jagielka, following the Robins’ 2-1 defeat to Stoke City at Ashton Gate on Saturday.
Nahki Wells put the hosts one up, but Alex Neil’s side battled back and took all three points thanks to goals from Liam Delap and Jacob Brown either side of halftime.
Both of the Potters’ goals on the day were down to defensive errors. Makeshift centre-back Andy King failed to clear Harry Souttar’s long ball for the visitor’s first and was involved in a mix-up with Matty James for the winning goal.
In contrast, Jagielka and his defensive teammates offered a more robust display.
The hosts had more than twice as many shots as Neil’s side, but the visitors battled strongly to hold onto their lead late in the match as the Robins increased the pressure on Jack Bonham’s goal.
When questioned after the match if his side could do with an experienced defender like Jagielka, Pearson replied: “Absolutely, we could. We could do with a player of that ilk definitely. 40 and he’s a really good specimen, he’s very lucky as well, I worked with him when he was an Under-21 at England level, so I worked with him years ago. He’s had a fabulous career.”
The result means that the Robins have now kept just one clean sheet in their last 12 matches, and sit three points above the drop zone.
With Tomas Kalas currently out injured, and both Timm Klose and Rob Atkinson seemingly not in contention to get minutes, Pearson’s defensive headache goes on.
The West Country side may need to recruit in defensive areas in the January transfer window to ensure they steer clear of a relegation battle at the end of the season.
The manager has admitted that the Robins do not have the funds to spend much but has hinted previously that they could go down the route of swap deals.