Bristol City manager Nigel Pearson saluted Andreas Weimann after the forward celebrated a personal milestone in Saturday’s 3-1 Championship victory at former club Derby.
Weimann, who missed most of last season with a serious knee injury, scored his 20th goal of the campaign as the Rams suffered a first home defeat since late February.
Derby were behind after 10 minutes when Antoine Semenyo’s pass found Chris Martin, who sent Weimann clear to score. They doubled their lead as Richard Stearman was caught on the ball by Semenyo and he found the bottom left corner in the 38th minute.
Derby wasted a great chance when Bartosz Cybulski headed the ball over from inside the six-yard box but they pulled one back in the 61st minute when Craig Forsyth headed in Malcolm Ebiowei’s cross, but City wrapped up the points 11 minutes from time when Timm Klose rose highest at the far post to head in a free-kick.
Pearson was quick to acknowledge Weimann’s achievement, saying: “I think it’s a career-best for him.
“It’s a testament to his professionalism. His desire and his work ethic is just incredible.
“I’m really pleased for him especially off the back of last season where he spent a long time out injured – so to have a season like this on his return from injury is particularly impressive.
“It’s been a difficult season for us at times. We’ve not always got the results or performances warranted or we’ve been a bit inconsistent as a team so for us to have one player on 20 goals, another on 10 and Antoine (Semenyo) is on seven, so we’ve made progress.
“It feels like a long season for us but we’re thankful we’ve beaten last season’s points total and we’ve got two games left to try and build on some good performances of late.”
Pearson, who managed Derby for four months in 2016, hopes the club can start to move forward following administration and relegation to League One.
He added: “Sometimes it takes a really big setback to allow change and I hope the takeover happens quickly so they can start next season with a positive outlook.
“I don’t think anybody likes to see a club of the history and status of Derby in the predicament they are in but I suppose it’s a lesson for all of us, we have to make sure clubs are run in a sustainable way.”
Derby’s first-team development coach Justin Walker said: “It was a good exercise for us in terms of providing players with the opportunity today.
“Disappointing first half, I thought the goals we gave away were cheap, we were disappointed as a group and at half-time had a bit of a chat about the rhythm and intensity and self belief really.
“I thought second half we started to push a little bit and got ourselves back in the game. That’s what we were looking at today, the character and temperament of some of the players to handle the environment.
“There’s an objective to what we want out of these last three games and we’ve got a tough job to do over the coming weeks to prepare ourselves properly for next season.”
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