Two Bristol City stars set to miss Preston and Millwall ties - here is why

Nigel Pearson reveals that two of his Bristol City players remain a doubt for the weekends clash with Millwall.

Nigel Pearson has ruled out both Kal Naismith and Matty James for Bristol City’s clash with Preston North End.

The Robins play the Lilywhites at Ashton Gate in a rearranged fixture on Wednesday evening and are in a completely different run of form as to the initial date.

City had been on an eight-match unbeaten run but after the match was postponed, they played a doubleheader against Norwich City and Burnley, which began their five-match winless streak.

As he looks to get his side out of the rote, Pearson however will be unable to call upon two of his most experienced players who remain out with injury.

Ex-Leicester City midfielder James has a groin injury and underwent a procedure after football resumed following the international break. It is the second time he has missed an extended period of games after suffering an injury in August.

Naismith - signed from Luton Town in the summer - and had been ever-present in the Championship meanwhile injured his calf which has made for a short period out.

He was brought off late in the first half in the goalless draw with Coventry but his injury isn’t as bad as initially thought. The pair however may miss the second part of City’s home double-header with Millwall at home on Saturday.

“They won’t be available midweek absolutely,” he said to Robins TV.

“It’s still very debatable whether they will be close at the weekend too. You have to remember when players have been out for any length of time they have to get a base of pitch time on the training field.

“We’re missing players but every team has to miss players and missing players mean that other people get opportunities and they have got to take it.”

Academy midfielder Dylan Kadji is expected to be part of the match-day squad again after not being included in the Under-21 squad.

Joe Williams is also back available for selection after serving a one-match suspension for accumulating five yellow cards over the first quarter of the season.

Williams could fill in for either James or Naismith having played as a central defender for a brief period last season. Player-coach Andy King slotted into the role in Naismith’s absence, but popular figure Gary Owers suggested playing Cameron Pring as a centre-back and moving Robert Atkinson into the centre.

Despite being out two players who have a vast amount of experience for potentially two games, there is confidence that City can see things out, from the manager.

Pearson said: “We’ll see but whatever team is picked for any game what we have to have is that collective spirit and application to do the job.

“We’ve had that mostly this year I know we’re in a difficult run but we still have enough to get out of that.”