Western Daily Press

Pearson plans to streamline squad

- GREGOR MACGREGOR Gregor.Macgregor@reachplc.com

BRISTOL City manager Nigel Pearson wants to work with a smaller squad next season. The Robins have 13 players out of contract in the summer and Pearson knows who he wants to retain, but has yet to inform the players of his decisions. The 57-year-old former Leicester City boss has already confirmed he will not be changing his coaches but the playing squad is another matter, as he looks for ‘hungry recruits and streetwise experience­d players’ too.

City have used a total of 38 different players this campaign, including many youngsters with eight debuts handed out (Sam Pearson, Sam Bell, Ryley Towler, James Morton, Owura Edwards, Tommy Conway, Saikou Janneh, Alex Scott.)

Pearson detailed what he hopes to achieve this season however, in a BBC Radio Bristol radio interview with Geoff Twentyman on Monday on the weekly Sound of the City programme. Pearson told the show: “There’ll be departures this summer, absolutely, and there’ll be additions. If seven or eight go then it doesn’t mean that seven or eight will come in. I’d prefer to work with a more robust, smaller squad to make sure competitio­n is very keen amongst the players.”

Pearson said he hopes to keep his best players, but that on occasion players may be sold where it ‘facilitate­s you to do other business’.

“Let’s be honest, if I’ve not told players in private then I’m not going to go public,” said Pearson when asked about the players out of contract this summer. “That’s the first thing. Because of the circumstan­ces now it’s very hard to make those decisions now. We had a number of players play at the weekend who are out of contract who are playing for contracts.

“It’s not as straightfo­rward as it normally would be. All I’d say is that I never make decisions lightly but I know the direction we want to go in.

“This summer is an opportunit­y for us to at least shape the squad and get it moving in the right direction. But you can never have designs on getting three or four players and get them signing for you. It doesn’t work like that. There’ll be strong competitio­n out there.

“Fortunatel­y for us we’re a very soundly run business. Although we won’t be competing financiall­y with some clubs, I’m a big believer in not breaking the bank to get one player in.

“I’d rather have a realistic competitio­n within our squad of players where there’s at least some equality. They’re not all going to be on the same money but it’s important that we all have a squad of players who are in the same sort of area earningwis­e. We’re not going to go out there and break the bank to bring marquee players in. That’s not what this club needs. This club needs at the moment to build the side in a sound way,” he explained.

City play Brentford in their final Championsh­ip game of the season, kicking off at 12.30pm on Saturday.

 ?? Picture: Rogan Thomson/JMP ?? Bristol City manager Nigel Pearson with some of his players at Hillsborou­gh when they played Sheffield Wednesday in the Sky Bet Championsh­ip this season
Picture: Rogan Thomson/JMP Bristol City manager Nigel Pearson with some of his players at Hillsborou­gh when they played Sheffield Wednesday in the Sky Bet Championsh­ip this season

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK