Nigel Pearson’s clear out and rebuild at Bristol City has begun, with 11 senior players released at the end of their contracts.
The Robins finished the season terribly and can count themselves lucky that it ended when it did because they were on the sort of slide that could’ve seen them relegated under different circumstances.
With new CEO Richard Gould now installed and a large chunk of the squad gone, the City boss can really start building the squad that he hopes to take to the Premier League in the future.
Ahead of what is a massive summer for the South West club, we’ve outlined two things Pearson needs to fix at Bristol City before next season kicks off…
The squad culture
Injuries were a major problem for City in 2020/21 but even so, the players in the City squad should not have folded in the way they did over the last few months of the season.
The Robins won just one of their last 13 Championship games and often looked as though they simply didn’t want to be there, highlighting a negative culture within the squad.
Changing that is likely to be key for Pearson if he is to have success at Ashton Gate and the player clear out that has already happened should help him achieve that.
It’s clearly a priority as the experienced coach highlighted when he signed his three-year deal last month that changing the culture was key.
He told the club website: “It doesn’t happen overnight and it’s important everyone has ownership of what we do. I don’t see enough of it at the moment, and I think the playing squad has to have an ownership of what we’re trying to achieve.
“We’ve not quite got that right but I’m happy to put my head on the block because I want to be responsible for what happens on the field. It’s important to set the scene and to make sure everyone knows where they sit in terms of their roles and responsibilities in creating a winning culture – that’s what it’s all about; a winning culture in which everyone understands their role and has a positive input.”
What club do these 21 former Bristol City players ply their trade at now?
Their output in the final third
City’s issues in the final third were clear to see last season and illustrated by a number of damning statistics.
The key two were that no club in the Championship averaged fewer shots per game than the Robins last term (7.8), while they finished the campaign with the lowest expected goal rating of any club in the division.
Famara Diedhiou has now departed and replacing his goals will be crucial, while they do have the likes of Chris Martin and Andi Weimann to return from injury.
But as the above statistics indicate, the problems run deeper than just personnel and are something that Pearson has to fix before the start of 2021/22.