“Players Copped Out” Bristol City Reaction After 3-1 Cup Defeat

Credit Graham Burrell

Lincoln returned to League Cup action on Tuesday and bounced back with an Emphatic 3-1 victory in the third round at Ashton Gate.

The Imps raced into a two-goal lead with Matty Virtue’s long-range effort, and Ben House capitalising on a defensive error to make it 2-0 after just a quarter of an hour. The strong performance carried over into the second half with Lincoln making it 3-0 just after half time, with a header by O’Connor. Bristol City made changes to try to force the game putting Lincoln under periods of sustained pressure, however the damage was done in the first half and Lincoln could have easily scored a one or two more goals. 3-1 was the final score as The Imps romp through to the 4th round for only the second time in their history, writes Samuel Rowson.


Nigel Pearson Calls Out Players ‘Moral Fibre’

The Ex-Leicester, Hull and Watford manager spoke to the clubs media team shortly after the game. He cut a very frustrated figure and Pearson pinned the poor performance on a lack of first team players available for the tie. Also the lack of quality shown from the players selected was mentioned as a main catalyst, which in turn led to the below-par performance from the home side. Pearson started by saying:

“The game is about both penalty boxes and we were poor in both tonight. It wasn’t good enough with too many individuals not taking responsibility and it shows that we don’t have depth in our squad. Unfortunately we are missing some important players and made some changes tonight and it’s unfortunate for our youngsters to be a part of  a performance in which they didn’t get a lot of help out on the field, and that’s a big shame.”

Bristol City made three changes at the break, taking off Joe Low who at 20 years of age was handed his debut along with goalkeeper Stefan Baji. Pearson added: “The subs did make a difference but we got what we deserve tonight.” Pearson also spoke to BBC Radio Bristol after the game, with Tuesday’s loss making it only two wins from the last 13 games in all competitions for The Robins.

“It was not very good, we had players who basically copped out, We’ll see who’s up for it for the weekend but clearly we’ve got players who are not showing enough moral fibre. I take responsibility – it’s my team. It’s not good but we’ll have to deal with it.”

“I feel for Joe Low, I had to take him off to protect him but unfortunately he didn’t get a lot of help out there, Only when we got some subs on in the second half did we get some sort of a tempo to our game, which I think really gives us an indication as to where we are as a squad. We don’t really have a competitive squad in the way that we hoped we had, and that’s a big disappointment. The very fact that I leave Andy King on and take centre-backs off tells you something.”

Twitter/ Fan Reaction


The win for Lincoln see The Imps progress to the fourth round for the first time since 1967/68 season, this result equals the best run in the competition in the club’s history. This means the club will be among the last 16 in the competition, with some big clubs potentially waiting for them.


Bristol Frailties Exposed

After 45 minutes with the game at 2-0 and Lincoln looking like the stronger side, many Bristol City fans on Twitter were questioning the side’s work rate and ability. The usual culprit is the manager, who was being blamed for the lack of desire and cohesion in their play. Nothing to do with the youthful nature of the starting XI, with three debuts handed to players of 20 years of age.


Half Time Changes

At the break, Pearson made three changes to try to and change the tide of the tie, and to inject some energy into his side. @Allan13586153 above stated their concern for the changes and how effective they would turn out to be. And for Pearson and Bristol City they didn’t have the intended boost, as Lincoln scored within a couple of minutes into the second half thanks to Paudie O’Connor’s goal-line header which made it 3-0.


Robins Pull One Back

Sustained Bristol City pressure finally told as Conway stabbed home the rebound from his own shot. Rushworth was equal to the initial shot however, when the ball rebounded back into the path of the 20-year-old he made no mistake.

Full Time, Another Historic Win


Managers Comments

The video of Pearson being questioned about the game was tweeted shortly after full time and Robin fans, it’s fair to say, had a few opinions on his tenure and also the performance of both their side and the victorious Imps. Robbie below mentions the Imps mentality at ‘bullying Bristol off the park’. With Lincoln, ‘first to every ball’. This performance shows what this team is capable of and shows the player’s desire to put to bed last weekend’s result.

As I mentioned earlier in the article, I thought Pearson looked frustrated, however, this one Bristol City supporter went one step further and described him as ‘defeated’.

I think it’s fair to say that Bristol City fans are experiencing the same feeling we felt on Saturday post-Chippenham. How a few days in football can change the mentality of a whole fanbase.