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Bristol City manager Nigel Pearson lauds Alex Scott’s ‘football intelligence’

Bristol City v Derby County – Sky Bet Championship – Ashton Gate
(Image credit: Bradley Collyer)

Bristol City boss Nigel Pearson praised the football intelligence of teenage matchwinner Alex Scott after his first-half goal saw off toothless Derby 1-0.

The 18-year-old connected perfectly with a left-footed shot from the edge of the box in the 16th minute to settle a game of few clear scoring opportunities.

Scott began the season as a winger, but has quickly adapted to the more defensive role given to him by Pearson.

He said: “Alex is a very versatile and promising player.

“I don’t think anybody thought at the start of the season that he would be operating as a wing-back.

“The fact that he is, shows his football intelligence. When you play in that position and the ball is crossed from the other side you need to be in goalscoring positions.

“Alex got himself into one for his goal and it was a very calm and assured finish.”

City might have been out of sight by the interval as Chris Martin, Andreas Weimann and Antoine Semenyo spurned good first-half opportunities.

The home side were nearly made to pay when in stoppage time Derby substitute Ravel Morrison fired inches wide.

Pearson added: “We should have put the game to bed in the first half because we had excellent chances. When you are only one up you are always vulnerable.

“It remains a frustration that we don’t always make good decisions on the ball, but it was another committed performance.

“There was a bonus in getting Matty James back earlier than expected from injury and giving him half an hour off the bench in the second half was about right.

“Our performance was excellent in the first half, very aggressive and very good at understanding how to deal with the threat Derby pose.

“On top of that, we were creative and we know we should have done better with some of the chances.”

Derby boss Wayne Rooney bemoaned the opening 45 minutes at Ashton Gate.

He admitted: “Our first-half performance could hardly have been worse.

“I told the lads at half-time that I didn’t recognise us because we didn’t have the intensity we are trying to build with this team.

“We were sloppy when in possession and not quick enough to react to the second ball.

“Our warm-up wasn’t good enough and the slow start we made to the game showed how important it is to get that right.

“It isn’t the first time that has happened. I thought the two substitutes who came on for the second half did well, but we paid for that disappointing first half.”

One of the replacements was teenage striker Luke Plange.

Rooney said: “He moves well, he’s quick, works hard and is aggressive at winning the ball back.

“Like all young players, I have to protect him, but he was very positive when he went on and did well. I’m pleased to have him in the squad.

“We changed shape for the second half and played with more intensity. We got into some good positions and then the details like getting the ball into the box have to be better.

“Our passing in the final third needs to improve. As a staff we will get together and try to work out why we began the game so slowly because we can’t afford to let it happen again.”

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