‘More like it’ - Nigel Pearson verdict on Bristol City win and his one PNE disappointment

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The 59-year-old shares his thoughts on the Robins’ narrow win.

Nigel Pearson insisted he won’t get carried away following Bristol City’s 2-1 home victory over Preston North End on Wednesday.

The Robins took the lead in the 55th minute when Rob Atkinson headed home a Mark Sykes cross.

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Preston hit back with less than 10 minutes to play through Andrew Hughes before a last-gasp Alex Scott corner was headed home by Atkinson for his and City’s second of the night.

The result was the Robins’ first win for over a month; however their manager was keen not to get carried away with the victory as they navigate through a busy period.

“I’m not going to spend all night talking about how positive and how rosy things are,” he said.

“Because as a unit, that performance at the weekend was too far off what we’re about and tonight was more like it, it was a pretty reserved atmosphere in the first half in particular but I thought the players dealt with that well.”

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In a game of few openings, City recorded the most shots and controlled the game in spells. They had 13 shots, registering four on target to PNE’s eight with only two hitting the target.

It was the third time this season that Preston lost by the odd goal, as City made their opportunities count.

Pearson continued: “Without creating too many chances we were well on top in the game. Disappointed not to keep a clean sheet, but we were a bit unlucky with that one actually. It was a good all-around team effort and response, and that’s all I’m bothered about tonight.

“I thought we played some good football. Thought in midfield we used the ball particularly well; I think from the back we used the ball pretty well.”

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Rob Atkinson was twice on the score sheet for the Robins. (Image: Michael Steele/Getty Images) Rob Atkinson was twice on the score sheet for the Robins. (Image: Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Rob Atkinson was twice on the score sheet for the Robins. (Image: Michael Steele/Getty Images) | Getty Images

The visitors made it difficult for the Robins to penetrate their backline at times, something that the 59-year-old wasn’t surprised about.

“They are a team that play in a sort of mid-block they don't sort of press you particularly high up because they're a decent counter-attacking side,” he said.

“They've had a lot of success doing that, I thought our wing-backs were better than theirs tonight and had we had found a bit more quality with the end product we would've created more chances.

“Our pace and ability to mix our own styles up was beneficial during the game... We’re better when we play at a good tempo.”

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The result moves the West Country side back into the top half, and they will look to build on the victory with another home match against Millwall on Saturday.

“We’ve allowed certain games to pass us by that is frustrating and so we’ll see what happens at the weekend, but I’m really pleased for the players tonight, and I’m very pleased for our fans.”

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