Bristol City coach explains why club took different transfer approach with first-team star

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‘We needed to nurture him from inside the club,’ said the Bristol City coach on why Conway didn’t leave

Tommy Conway was a player that Bristol City wanted to nurture themselves rather than loaning him out, admits Curtis Fleming.

Conway is the hot topic around Ashton Gate at the moment following his quick rise to first-team prominence in the past few games.

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A brace against Coventry City in the Carabao Cup earned him a start against Wigan Athletic in which he set up Andi Weimann.

Conway followed it up with a first home goal against Luton Town, before netting in the Severnside Derby against Cardiff City on Sunday.

The 20-year-old has been patient in waiting for his opportunity to come after a few substitute appearances last season.

His patience has paid off as rather than demanding a loan move to aid his development, he has beared the fruits of training with the first-team and picking up traits that has

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Nigel Pearson’s right-hand man said: “When we speak about young players in the game. Everyone says that they have to go out on loan and play 30 games in League Two and then 30 games in League One.

“We felt he was a player that needed to stay at the club and that we needed to nurture him from inside the club.”

“He has been doing that gradually, he’s been working hard and he’s been working with good strikers.”

Conway signed a new long-term contract earlier this summer that showed City’s belief in the young player to deliver the goods for years to come.

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There had been talk after penning his new deal that a loan move could take place, however that was swiftly batted away by Nigel Pearson after the Bournemouth match who said they could not afford to loan him out.

Conway is now a certified first-team player and is a beneficiary of the Championship’s recent rule change to allow for five changes.

The striker has benefitted from training alongside veteran striker Nahki Wells, who assisted him for his goal against Cardiff.

Wells, who has had to wait for his own opportunity after being kept out of the side by the form of Chris Martin and Antoine Semenyo last year, is building up a partnership with Conway, which will come as a massive benefit.

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The trio of Semenyo, Weimann and Martin proved successful last year as they scored plenty of goals but now with their other two strikers on form, it makes for a welcomed selection conundrum when players are at Pearson’s disposal.

Fleming added: “He’s been doing a lot of finishing sessions and a lot of running sessions. We knew the quality that he has and we knew that he would get a chance.

“It was up to him to grab it and I think he has done that with both hands.

“You can see what it means to him, especially when he has been with the academy since he was nine. His dream is to score at Ashton Gate and he has scored two in a week, it’s fantastic for him.

“We won’t let him get carried away and he needs to keep working as hard as he is. If he wants to keep that shirt at the moment he’s got it.”

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