Nigel Pearson’s response to boo boys as Bristol City jeered at full-time whistle

Chants were directed towards Nigel Pearson at the full-time whistle. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)Chants were directed towards Nigel Pearson at the full-time whistle. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
Chants were directed towards Nigel Pearson at the full-time whistle. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images) | Getty Images
The 59-year-old gave a response to a difficult atmosphere at Ashton Gate

Nigel Pearson believes Bristol City fans are ‘entitled to their opinions’ after his side was jeered at the full-time whistle. The Robins suffered defeat for a third time in five home matches, and are without a win in front of their own supporters since mid-October.

Matt Philips opened the scoring in the ninth minute for West Brom, before Brandon Thomas-Asante made sure of the victory. Despite suffering a 2-1 loss to Stoke City last week, the side was unchanged, but they struggled to cause any problems to Carlos Corberan’s side who are on a resurgence.

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The latest defeat for City, which has seen them suffer back-to-back defeats has kept them in 18th in the Championship. They are two points above Blackpool in 23rd who occupy the last relegation spot. City have tough away fixtures against Millwall and Coventry City up next.

Before the international break, Pearson admitted that there could be pressure on him, leading in to the Watford match. City secured a point against the Hornets and pressure was eased before the World Cup break, but now discussions over his future amongst supporters is a key talking point.

A section of fans made their opinions known at the full-time whistle with boos, as well as several chants, but the former Leicester City manager wants any negativity directed away from his players.

“If you’re alluding to the reaction from our fans, it’s part and parcel of football I am afraid,” he said.

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“We’ve got a lot of players, our young players who have only really experienced the positive aspects of football so far. What it does is create a situation where it will test the resolve of who is on side and who is not, simple as that.

“Our fans are entitled to their opinions. What is important is that they stay behind their team.

“It is never going to be beneficial to have a negative reaction. If they want to have a go at me they can have a go at me. It’s important that our team stays very much together, simple as that.”

A section of home supporters could be heard chanting ‘sacked in the morning’ to their own manager. Pearson has been in charge since February 2021, and this is not the first time that there has been a negative reaction at the full-time whistle.

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The 59-year-old’s task has been to keep the club competitive whilst they contend with record club losses. City have remained within the boundaries of Financial Fair Play, but have been unable to recruit players to the extent of their Championship rivals.

In his season-and-a-half in charge, he has led the club to a 19th and 17th-placed finish since succeeding Dean Holden. More than a dozen of senior players have left and have been recruited either for a fee from lower league clubs or signed on a free transfer.

For someone who has been in football management for 24-years, booing from his own supporters is something he has encountered before. The former Middlesbrough defender has no complaints against the boo’s, but tries to distance their opinions to his, given it is job to manage the club and the expectations of it.

“I’ve had that before, I had that at some point at every club I have been at,” he responded when asked. “People have their opinions and they can do what they want, it’s fine.

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“I think what is important is to recognise that I know exactly the job I have got to do here. I keep it in context, football matches are emotional.

“If people want to vent their frustrations. I’d rather they do it at me than the players. It doesn’t help the players, it’s not beneficial to them.

“I think we will be fine. The bottom line is, I’ve been brought in here to do a job. Affecting change is something which makes people feel a bit uncomfortable, it is what it is.

“How people view the game is up to them. I have to keep a more pragmatic view on it, simple as that. It’s my job, I’m a football manager, I’m not a football fan, I am a football manager.”

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