Bristol City appoints Nigel Pearson as boss until end of season

Nigel Pearson guided Leicester City to two play-off finishes and a Championship title, and has management experience in the Premier League with Watford Credit: ITV West Country

Nigel Pearson has been named as Bristol City manager on a short-term contract until the end of the season.

The 57-year-old has extensive management experience, including leading Leicester City to the Championship title in the 2014/15 season after previously reaching the play-offs twice.

Despite not being at the club at the time, Pearson has also been credited with building the Leicester side that went on to miraculously win the Premier League a year later.

He last managed Watford in the Premier League and was sacked with two games to go in July 2020 after taking the side from the bottom of the table to 17th.

Pearson had the best points-per-game record (1.25) of any manager in Watford’s history and recorded a memorable 3-0 win over current champions Liverpool during his tenure.

Nigel Pearson takes charge on a short-term contract until the end of the season Credit: ITV West Country

City Chairman Jon Lansdown said: "Nigel gives us the leadership and direction we need to lift the players’ confidence and to turn our form around.

"The initial appointment is until the end of the season, when we will re-assess the situation, hopefully with a view to the long term.

"However, the immediate priority for Nigel and the coaching team is to stop the current bad run and move us back up the table."

City Chief Executive Mark Ashton added: "Nigel is a highly respected and experienced manager with a proven track record of success and we are looking forward to welcoming him to the club."

Pearson has managed Leicester and Watford in the Premier League, as well as Hull, Derby, and Oh Leuven in Belgium Credit: ITV West Country

The Robins have suffered seven consecutive defeats in all competitions, slumping to 15th in the league and failing to score in their last five fixtures.

Dean Holden was sacked after City lost 11 times in 15 games since December 1, including a 6-0 mauling at Pearson’s former club Watford.

Having started the season promisingly with four wins in a row from their opening four fixtures, the Robins’ form dipped after sustaining long-term injuries to key players including Andreas Weimann, Jay Dasilva, and Callum O'Dowda.

City also had to deal with a Covid-19 outbreak within the squad earlier in the campaign but now sit both 10 points away from the play-offs and the relegation zone.

City’s rivals, Bristol Rovers, announced the appointment of Joey Barton today, who briefly played under Pearson in 2008 when he served as Newcastle United’s caretaker manager.

The new Rovers manager previously expressed his admiration for Pearson in a tweet when he was given the job in December 2019, saying: "Really good appointment Nigel Pearson. First class coach even better human!"

Pearson will observe Tuesday's Championship match against Middlesbrough before officially taking charge ahead of Saturday’s trip to Swansea City.

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