Nigel Pearson: Bristol City sack manager following Cardiff loss

Nigel Pearson: Bristol City sack manager following Cardiff loss
Nigel Pearson’s contract with Bristol City was due to expire next summer

Bristol City have sacked manager Nigel Pearson after two and a half years in charge, with the Robins 15th in the Championship.

The 60-year-old was appointed in February 2021, initially on a short-term deal, and was the second-longest serving manager in the Championship.

His contract was due to expire at the end of this season.

“This was a difficult decision to make as we recognise and appreciate how much Nigel has done for the club over the past two and a half years on and off the pitch,” said club chairman Jon Lansdown.

“Nigel is highly respected by the staff and players and has been very supportive of the academy structure and our women’s team.

“We all wanted Nigel to achieve our ambition to be promoted but, with our recent results, feel that now is the time to make a change to give the club the best possible chance of success.”

Assistant manager Curtis Fleming will take on the role of interim head coach, while a new appointment is made.

Former Leicester and Watford manager Pearson signed a three-year deal until 2024, but after the loss to Coventry last weekend he said that he may be “fighting for his job” with the contract soon to expire.

“My position has not been secure, which irritates me,” Pearson told BBC Radio Bristol.

The team finished 14th in the Championship last season and have won five of their 14 league matches during this campaign, with three draws and six defeats.

Pearson is the sixth manager to leave a club in the second tier this season, with Gareth Ainsworth sacked by QPR on Saturday.

First-team coach Jason Euell has also left Bristol City, along with head of medical performance Dave Rennie.

‘A big, controversial decision’

Analysis – Richard Hoskin, BBC Radio Bristol sport editor

There’s been a lot of ‘noise’ in recent days about the future of Nigel Pearson, ever since he expressed his “irritation” that the club hadn’t opened contract negotiations about a new deal.

In his time at Ashton Gate, Pearson has trimmed the squad and wage bill – losing Antoine Semenyo and Alex Scott to Bournemouth, with the significant transfer fees received for these players not appearing to be reinvested in the squad.

He also gave youngsters like Sam Bell and Tommy Conway opportunities and they’re now among key first-team players.

In recent weeks he’s been walking with crutches, as he waited for more tests to diagnose a “neurological situation”.

Against Cardiff on Saturday, the Robins were hindered by an ever-growing injury list.

It’s a big, dare I say controversial decision by the Lansdown family – with a lot of City supporters backing Pearson.

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