Every word Nigel Pearson said on Benarous' reaction, Massengo's contract, Bristol City vs Fulham

By Tom Coley

Nigel, your team put a lot of effort in today…

Yeah, yeah we did but we were better than just effort. I thought we played very well, very, very well.

But look, it is what it is and you can’t ask a lot more. We had our chances and we were either unable to take them or there were some good defending from both sides as well.

There’s nothing that I can say that isn’t complimentary about it today.

You said you would give some others chances, most of those responded didn’t they?

They all did, everybody in the five changes, the players all acquitted themselves very well. The lads that came off the bench impacted the game in a positive way. I can’t ask for much more than that.

Some big chances out there really…

Yeah, there were some very good chances.

To lose to a goal like that, it must have been very annoying?

Yeah it was but it was probably in the script wasn’t it. It was always going to be something along those lines but I don’t have complaints today and hopefully our fans go home relatively entertained. I thought it was a good game of football. I quite liked the fact that there wasn’t going to be a replay if it was a draw, I think that’s beneficial for the competition.

You could see players on both sides were out on their feet at times but that shows you how much commitment was in there and it remained a good football match right the way till the end so credit to both sides for that.

Max O’Leary made two fantastic saves in extra time and you’ve given the chance to him…

Yeah, and he was very calm. He’s got a very good temperament, uses the ball exceptionally well. He’s made his mark in the team.

I was impressed by [Han-Noah] Massengo today, it was an all action performance…

Everybody wants to always pick out Han-Noah and he played very well today, yes he makes mistakes but every player does. He’s really maturing nicely and it was another really positive performance from him.

I thought we were very brave at the back as well, when you play against a side who are expansive like them and we’re playing with a five, we didn’t want them to have the ball cheaply at the back so we pressed them high up the pitch and that takes a bit of bravery for the three centre-backs to play as wide as they did but we did it well.

There’s a consistency to your performances now Nigel, you’re not winning them all but we’re coming away and saying everything was given…

Well that’s got to be the foundation for us making progress and that has to be that we can’t be hit and miss in terms of commitment and application.

It was a good performance and I feel for the players because they deserved more but it’s what football is. I’m relatively pleased today.

Now you’ve got to get your strength back in the team for next week…

They’ll be fine, they’ll recover okay.

It shows what you can do against top teams…

Yeah, but it also shows the depth of their squad as well.

Their bench was quite impressive…

Their starting 11 was as well. There’s no envy in that, we are where we are and we have to work within the confines of what our circumstances are to make progress ourselves.

That’s what we’re doing and we don’t bemoan the situation, we are in a financially tight situation and we have to maximise what we have and that means younger players get opportunities quicker here.

They are good enough, I think all the young players who played today, the starts and subs, showed that we’ve got some ability and the consistency has been the problem for us this year and it’s not necessarily the quality although at times a bit more of a ruthless edge and we would probably be talking in a different way here.

It was a good performance and a good game of football.

How impressed were you with the performance of Ayman Benarous?

I think when you consider that last week I took him off at half time, it’s like getting back on the bike again and I think today’s game was a good game for him because where you play against a side like Millwall where everything is compact and they deny you space and they’re very physical, Ayman will in time learn to deal with not being in the game but still do a job for the team.

Last week was difficult because we played against a well organised side. Today there was more space. He’s a quick learner so he’s a player who didn’t enjoy being taken off last week but he’s got a really good temperament and is an intelligent lad. He’ll go a long way.

I thought Alex Scott again, when you consider his age as well, very accomplished performance.

Just on Han-Noah, in midweek you said that you’d offered him a new contract or in the process of…

I haven’t, the club have, we have.

Have you got a gut feeling on which way that will go?

I don’t worry about stuff like that. He’s happy, he’s content, he doesn’t allow stuff like that to distract him which is a real quality in a player.

I think we go overboard in this country with talking about contracts and not being secured. When you go abroad players will say I’m leaving at the end of the year and everybody sends them their best wishes when they finish.

We talk about things and people not showing loyalty. Loyalty is an overused word in this game, here. I don’t worry about that. We will do what we can to keep him here. He’s developing very well and he’s playing pretty well too, and he’s learning.

No Tyreeq Bakinson recently, is he around or is he injured?

No, he’s had Covid, he tested positive.

Every club is dealing with that, he was training again today so he’ll be around.

Best wishes to him then

He’s okay, he’s young and fit.

I think what you’ve got to remember is that our squad is very well protected, comparatively speaking to a lot of squads so it doesn’t mean they won’t get it but it does mean that they’ll be able to recover quicker. He’s fine.

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