Bristol’s two football league clubs have turned to two big names in the hope of salvaging their respective seasons.

Former Leicester City and Watford manager Nigel Pearson has been appointed Bristol City boss until the end of the season.

He replaces Dean Holden who was sacked by the Robins last week.

Pearson was watching from the stands on Tuesday as City ended a seven-game winless run by beating Middlesbrough 3-1 at the Riverside.

City scored all their goals in the space of 16 first-half minutes thanks to a brace from Famara Diedhiou and a slick finish from Nakhi Wells.

Pearson spoke to his squad at their team hotel before the game though, and made a brief appearance in the dressing room at half-time.

He took charge of training for the first time on Wednesday and will be in the dugout for Saturday’s trip to Swansea.

Meanwhile, Joey Barton made a losing start to his Bristol Rovers reign as they lost 2-1 at home to Wigan Athletic.

The former Fleetwood Town manager, who represented Manchester City and Newcastle United during his playing days, has signed a deal until 2023 to replace Paul Tisdale.

Rovers dropped into the relegation zone following Tuesday’s defeat, but Barton says he has seen enough to be convinced Bristol Rovers will stay up.

“I have seen more than enough from my first training session and the effort of the players tonight to be convinced we will stay up.

“Set-pieces have been the team’s Achilles’ heel this season and we conceded from two more, so there is clearly work to be done.

“We need to aim for 52 points, which means 25 from 17 matches, a target I see as very achievable.”