Nigel Pearson has emphasised the desire for a strong ‘culture’ if Bristol City are to be successfulthis season.
Key changes have taken place in the off season with both Andy King and former Charlton Athletic coach Jason Euell joining the coaching staff.
An unbeaten pre-season which has coincided with a chunk of their transfer business being conducted early has made for an optimistic feel amongst the club and its supporters.
The Robins finished in a disappointing 17th place last term, however the 58-year-old is confident that the ongoing cultural changes within the club can help in their pursuit to become more competitive.
He said: “It’s been slow (to change the culture) because this is a behemoth of a club. It’s a relatively big club moving in a direction that’s been difficult to change, but we’re getting there,” he said.
“It’s about giving people opportunities. It’s not just me, it’s how I work within the football club and it’s about bringing the right people in with good values, expertise too, and giving people opportunities to come along.
“If they choose not to then that’s when you change people. That doesn’t mean everybody who’s left during my time here falls into that category, sometimes with players and staff, it’s just a natural process of change that happens.”
In recent times, the likes of Kasey Palmer and Tyreeq Bakinson have departed the Robins for undisclosed fees after the pair fell out of favour under Pearson.
Palmer was sold to league rivals Coventry City having not been a part of Pearson’s plans from October onwards with just one substitute appearance.
Bakinson meanwhile after a good start to the campaign was quickly loaned out to Ipswich Town over a difference between the two.
He said: “There are occasions where you have to make clear decisions in terms of change of personnel because the collective ethos of how we work is more important than any individual’s ego or reluctance to have an open mind,” the manager added.
“The culture underpins how you work.”
During Pearson’s time in the West Country, he has opted to avoid bringing in loan signings - which may appear strange due to the limited funds at his disposal.
But, the combination of loan fees as well as the short-term aspect of signing players temporarily means the method doesn’t align with either the club’s financial situation or the Englishman’s cultural vision.
At other clubs, he has utilised the loan market but for the entirety of last season, he opted to use players contracted to the team, even if they didn’t fit into his style of play.
There has also been a preference to develop the younger players at the club with the recent long-term contract extensions of Sam Bell and Tommy Conway an example that using the players already with the club is perhaps the more preferred method.
“You’re using somebody else’s players, and I don’t believe in abusing the system,” Pearson explained. “I’m not sure I would have necessarily loaned a player to us if I was somewhere else, knowing there was a questionable character (here).
“You’ve got to make sure you get the values right, that the environment that people are working in is safe but it’s challenging too.
“For me as a manager, at all the clubs I’ve worked at, apart from here, have been very active in the loan market. But, until the foundation that you have internally is right, you can’t necessarily rely too much on people who are basically here to develop their own careers.”