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Nigel Pearson provides update on Rob Atkinson’s situation at Bristol City

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Summer signing from Oxford United Rob Atkinson has approached a bump in the road around the halfway stage of his first season as a Bristol City player.

Nigel Pearson recently recalled Ryley Towler from a loan spell at National League side Grimsby Town and threw him straight into the starting XI ahead of Atkinson. There is an argument that undermines Atkinson’s ability, but Pearson will not be changing his methods after achieving the past successes he has in management.

Atkinson has made 18 league starts this season with the Robins struggling for consistency but in looking at the bigger picture, they have given themselves plenty of breathing space above the relegation zone.

Pearson explained that Atkinson is going to have to dig in to pull himself out of this rut when he spoke to BristolLive.

He said: “He’s not really recovered fully, it appears. If you look at his career path from where he started, and where he’s accrued his appearances, he’s made some big steps in a short period of time. My expectation of players is probably a bit more realistic but he’s going to have tough it out, I’m afraid. I would imagine Ryley getting picked ahead of him, if I was him I’d be a bit unhappy about that but… tough!”

Atkinson was one of the most impressive centre backs in League One last season and would have been expecting to continue his steep upward trajectory this term. If he can reflect on being dropped in the right way there is no reason why he cannot return to being a more valued first team regular in the second half of the season.

The Verdict

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Joe Williams?

It is quite old-fashioned to hang Atkinson out to dry like Pearson has in recent weeks. The Robins have struggled for defensive solidity all season and have conceded two or more goals in three out of the four league matches that Atkinson has not featured in anyway.

This will be a good learning curve for the 23-year-old who Oxford United signed from Eastleigh in January 2020. The Robins are actually marginally closer to the play-offs than the bottom three after their memorable 3-2 victory over Millwall last weekend. Performances suggest that they will fall more the other way and remain in lower mid table, but Pearson will have his sights set on a top half finish which would indicate clear progress since he arrived in the job.


Passionate Football League obsessive and long-suffering Charlton Athletic supporter.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Nigel Pearson provides update on Rob Atkinson’s situation at Bristol City

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