Nigel Pearson reveals what pleased him most as Bristol City give Man City a fright
Bristol City lost 3-0 to Man City in the FA Cup fifth round at Ashton Gate but the scoreline doesn’t tell the whole story.
The Robins turned in a performance their fans can be proud of as, despite going a goal down early on to Phil Foden’s fine finish, Pearson’s men stood firm and had chances of their own to get back into the game.
However, after an excellent defensive display, roared on by a vociferous full house, the home side would eventually succumb to Man City’s quality late on with Foden adding another after an excellent move and Kevin De Bruyne finishing things off with a superb strike with 10 minutes remaining.
The final score made it something of a bittersweet night for Pearson, who will never be happy to lose regardless of the opposition but he could barely have asked for more from his players.
“It shows you the quality that [Man City] have,” he told ITV, reflecting on an excellent display that just wasn’t enough against such strong opposition. “The thing that pleases me most about how we played tonight was that we were true to ourselves, we didn’t try to change our way of playing or our identity to just make it more difficult for them.
“We tried to be ourselves and the game was as we thought, there would be opportunities for us but it was going to be whether we take them or not. Things didn’t quite happen the way we would have liked when opportunities came along and decisions...
“I’m not going to dwell on that. I’m pleased about how we approached it, I’m pleased about how the players stretched themselves and basically went toe-to-toe with the best team in this country.
Pearson added: “It’s disappointing we didn’t make it a bit tighter or it didn’t end a bit tighter but congratulations to them, they’re a quality side.“Absolutely. One of the things we need to make sure that we do is make sure to use the run that we’ve had - 12 games unbeaten in the league and cup, as well as tonight, as a catalyst to go on and really maximise what we have because we have a really good, energetic, youthful and talented squad.”