In recent weeks, the play-off places have slipped away from Bristol City and Nigel Pearson. However, he feels his players should need no external motivation to improve their performances from now until the end of the season.

“I don’t buy into this mentality that there’s nothing to play for because every time you take to the field there is professional pride at stake and that’s a really precious thing. There are players playing for their futures so there’s always something to play for.

“I’m the manager so I don’t enjoy it at the moment in terms of people asking questions and me questioning us as well, it’s not a situation I enjoy. However, we have to work together to find solutions and that’s the key message,” Pearson said.

The Robins are currently on a three-game losing streak but Pearson’s men will be looking to bounce back when they face Nottingham Forest on Saturday afternoon.

The Bristol City boss said: “We’ve been talking about a response for a while but it’s a situation that’s not a good one, in terms of how we feel about ourselves. The motivation the players need to bring to the pitch has been lacking and we’ve spoken about that. It’s simple in my mind now, we have six opportunities to finish the season with a more positive feeling.

“The criticism that comes is justified and we have to deal with it, but we can’t keep talking about it over and over, it’s about actions and the players are aware of the need to change our fortunes at home as much as anything.

“Moving forward we need a greater drive to make things happen on a daily basis, never mind the current situation and the run we’re in. To be a success as a club we need to develop a drive that everyone shares, it’s a big challenge but it’s not the priority at the moment. The priority is to turn around our form both in terms of performances and results,” he added.

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