The upcoming match will mark the first encounter between Ashton’s new club and the team and manager he left behind when he joined Town in the summer of 2021. During his time at Bristol City, Ashton had a mixed reputation among the Robins’ supporters, which has made this match a topic of interest, often referred to as the ‘Mark Ashton derby.’ Some Ipswich fans are even planning to wear Ashton masks in the away section.
Mark Ashton served as the CEO of Bristol City for five years, receiving recognition as the Championship CEO of the year in 2019. When asked about his relationship with Ashton at the pre-match press conference, Bristol City manager Nigel Pearson stated that they had a decent working relationship. However, he emphasized that the focus should not be solely on Mark Ashton, suggesting it’s important to concentrate on the footballing aspect of the game.
Pearson acknowledged the likely interest in discussing different management styles, especially given their financial approaches. He highlighted that Bristol City has adopted a more financially conservative strategy out of necessity, but he also stated that he personally believes in a more sustainable model for the club. He acknowledged that there are varying viewpoints on this issue and expressed a willingness to engage in the conversation.
In response to a statement that implied he had to pick up the pieces from past decisions, Pearson explained that he has experience in managing clubs where owners wanted to spend more money, but he believes that spending wisely is essential. He emphasized the importance of assessing the current squad and only bringing in new players if they genuinely improve the team.
Regarding the upcoming match against Ipswich, Pearson praised their momentum, noting that they’ve continued to perform well after gaining promotion. He emphasized the need to test them and acknowledged that many clubs that have risen from League One have experienced success through maintaining a strong team ethic. Pearson expects his team to be a formidable opponent when Ipswich visits their stadium.