Bristol City’s win against QPR on Saturday has moved them to within a point of the play-off places, with their 12 points from eight Sky Bet Championship games representing a fantastic return for a side that still look like a work in progress.
The club certainly looks in a better place now than it did at the close of the 2020/21 campaign and though a top six finish still looks like a bit of a pipe dream, there’s a fair bit of positivity in Bs3 right now.
It’s not all plain sailing, however, and with that in mind we’ve outlined two conundrums Nigel Pearson has at Bristol City right now that need to be fixed…
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Their dreadful home record
There’s only one place to start really and that’s the dreadful form that City have been in at home.
It is now 14 games since the Robins last won at Ashton Gate while they’ve never done so under Pearson – records that the manager and his players will be desperate to put right.
What may frustrate them the most is that they’ve had their chances in the opening months of the season but have surrendered leads late in games that they have dominated.
The Bs3 outfit were in winning positions against both Blackpool and Luton Town but stoppage-time goals in both games meant they were forced to settle for one point rather than all three.
The Robins have the third-best away record in the division this term but the fifth-worst at home, if they can find a way to starting winning at Ashton Gate it could be massive for them.
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The issues in the final third
City may have scored twice against the R’s on Saturday but the final third is an area of concern for the South West club at the moment.
It’s true that Andi Weimann (four goals, two assists) and Chris Martin (three goals, one assist) have enjoyed fairly strong starts to the season but too often the Robins have looked toothless in attack this term.
Against the likes of Blackpool, Swansea City, Preston North End, and Luton they enjoyed spells of possession and dominance but were unable to either create enough or take their opportunities to win the game.
Weimann and Martin are clearly Pearson’s preferred forward duo but Nahki Wells and Antoine Semenyo both showed their quality on the weekend.
The City coach has preferred to take a pragmatic approach for the most part – using Cameron Pring and Han-Noah Massengo in wide roles rather than the likes of Scott, Palmer, Wells, or Semenyo.
How exactly to get the best out of his squad in forward areas remains something of a conundrum for Pearson.