Nigel Pearson will be shuffling his pack ahead of Bristol City’s League Cup first round tie against Forest Green Rovers on Tuesday. The alterations will provide an opportunity for many of the Robins’ fringe players, BristolLive published this afternoon.
Regulars on a Championship starting lineup in the form of Tomas Kalas and Nahki Wells were both unused substitutes in Bristol City’s season curtain raising 1-1 draw with Blackpool on Saturday, they are likely to have the chance to prove themselves against League Two opposition.
Pearson said: “We’ve got a very strong side, who didn’t start today (Saturday), which is a really nice position to be in.
“It’s not anything to do with not taking the competition seriously, more to do with the fact that the Championship will always be our priority this season and the players who didn’t start today (Saturday), they might have a chance to stake a claim.”
After finishing 2020/21 in such rotten form, for the first time in a few years there is a cloud of doubt over Bristol City’s capabilities to maintain their second tier status this campaign. Therefore Pearson is taking no chances and ensuring that every league match takes the highest priority.
He continued: “That’s a very important thing (player rotation) for us to do. Whether we like it or not, the games programme is pretty relentless in the Championship.”
Shayne Lavery’s 92nd minute equaliser on Saturday was a crushing blow for the Robins who had played well enough to get off to the perfect start. Goalscorer Chris Martin led the line with aplomb and the defensive screen of Matty James and Andy King, who previously played under Pearson at Leicester City, in front of the back four had worked a treat.
Bristol City are in danger of a relegation battle and need to start the season quickly to avoid getting dragged in. A newly promoted side is never an easy first game and they were unlucky not to get the three points but the draw extends their winless run, including the back end of last term, in the Championship to 11.
The Robins have a depth of talent in the squad and if Pearson can keep them all happy and distribute playing time effectively, then they should have enough quality in their ranks to push towards mid table.