Bristol City boss Nigel Pearson has told Kasey Palmer and Zak Vyner to ‘train well’ if they want to get back into the Robins’ first team, adding that he doesn’t care about reputations as he spoke to Bristol Live.
Vyner hasn’t been seen in action since the middle of September, being taken off at half-time against Luton Town and not playing for the first team after that.
Not only has the 24-year-old not been on the pitch, but he has also only been on the bench once in City’s last eight league matches, a crushing blow to the versatile defender after making an impressive 43 appearances last term.
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Attacking midfielder Palmer has also been out of favour recently, mainly coming off the bench this term but being dropped from the matchday squad completely for the last two games, a total that could soon increase to three after seeing his team claim their first home win since January.
His omission was a particular blow for him with 18-year-old academy player Ayman Benarous being promoted to the bench for Saturday’s victory against Barnsley, even coming on to make his debut in what was a dream afternoon for the teenager.
Inevitably, manager Pearson was asked about Palmer and fellow outcast Vyner after Saturday afternoon’s match against Barnsley – and sent a clear and honest message to the duo as he spoke to Bristol Live.
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Asked about what both need to do to get back into the squad, the 59-year-old said: “Train well.
“When you consider Ayman Benarous got the nod ahead of Kasey Palmer… that tells you about what I see in training.
“I’m not bothered about reputations.”
Ouch. That particular line on Benarous must hurt for Palmer, because he will be desperate to get back into the first team at Ashton Gate and help his side improve on their home record, whilst keeping up their respectable form away from Bristol.
Missing out on this win must have been hard for both considering they have gone so long without a victory at home – and they will want to experience the feeling of a win on home turf again whilst actually being out there.
This would go a long way in boosting both players’ morale, with Vyner’s confidence probably particularly shot after missing out on so many games. Any match action at a senior level would probably be welcomed right now.
And that’s why he could be sent out on loan during the winter window, something he probably needs if there’s little chance of him forcing his way back into Pearson’s first-team plans.
However, the 59-year-old has kept the door firmly open for the duo, which is one positive both can take from these quotes. Expect good performances from both if they can get themselves involved again in the coming weeks, because they will be champing at the bit to play.