Nigel Pearson is in need of a win at Ashton Gate. The Bristol City manager knows it and Robins supporters certainly do after a 16th match without seeing a victory at the weekend. The 58-year-old’s team is yet to achieve a home win one since he took over in BS3 last February.
In stark contrast to the good form of four wins in six away from home, the West Country outfit have drawn four and lost twice on their own turf.
The poor sequence of results follows a draw and nine losses at the end of last season, making it 16 in total, where things currently stand. The English football record from league football is 20 games, held by Sunderland.
It’s five points from 48 over the longer term and the malaise has gone on for far too long this way. Pearson and his squad face in-form Forest next, who have that new manager bounce with Steve Cooper now at the helm, with Chris Hughton leaving the City Ground in September.
After beating Blackpool on the weekend, it’s four wins and a draw from the last five games for the Tricky Trees, who have won their last three away games on the trot.
But perhaps one good omen for the game is that Pearson faces his home city looking to turn the tide in Tuesday’s 7.45pm kickoff.
“We had a bore draw here last year,which we were quite pleased about at the time in the circumstances,” said Pearson, who was born in the Bilborough area of the city and who attended what was formerly known as the William Sharp School in Nottingham.
“It’ll be a different game. Look, the context of where we are, we know we need to find a win from somewhere. We know that.
“Am I relatively happy overall with where our situation is compared to last year? Of course I am. But I can’t be happy about [the Bournemouth defeat],” said the manager, reiterating that the Robins were beaten by a better side.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Dan Bentley says that the failure to win at home is not an issue for the Robins players, though he knows that victory is needed in BS3.
It’s now 265 days since a home win, but the fans have waited even longer: not seeing one themselves at the ground since beating Derby County 3-2 a mammoth 612 days ago due to covid regulation stopping fans attending games in person for 18 months.
“It doesn’t play on our minds at all,” Bentley told BBC Radio Bristol. “Don’t get me wrong, of course we want to win at home. We’re all aware of the situation, we’re all aware of the number, we’re all aware of the frustrations of the fans.
“There’s no stigma attached to playing at home. We want to give the fans something to shout about, we want to give them positivity like we have done away from home so far this season.
“But of course we know that there’s a situation where we haven’t won at home for too long. So as players and as a team, and I’m sure the staff, we take responsibility for that. “