Sean O'Driscoll gives Matthew Bates more time to earn Bristol City deal
Bristol City head coach Sean O'Driscoll has delayed making a decision on Matthew Bates' future.
Out of contract earlier this week, the former Middlesbrough defender is hoping to earn a new deal at Ashton Gate.
But he has only just recovered from illness and only returned to training today.
Appointed successor to the sacked Derek Mcinnes on Monday, O'Driscoll wants more time to assess the 26-year-old centre-back and will monitor his progress in training next week.
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O'Driscoll said: "Matthew has had a bit of a flu and has not been able to do much this week. He trained with us today, but that is not really long enough for me to have a proper look at him.
"I've asked him to train with us again next week and, at the end of that period, we will be able to come to a decision."
Right-back Mark Wilson is also out of contract and O'Driscoll has yet to decide whether to offer the former Celtic man a new deal.
Like Bates, he will continue to train with the Robins. Neither will travel north with the first team squad for Saturday's Championship fixture against Leeds at Elland Road.
Meanwhile, O'Driscoll has told The Post he could not afford to keep centre-back Stephen McManus, who returned to Middlesbrough when his loan spell ended today.
Previous manager McInnes was considering extending the Scotland international's stay until the end of the season, but O'Driscoll had other ideas.
He revealed: "Something was already being sorted out for Stephen when I arrived at the club. But I felt was a little bit too expensive for us and he has gone back to Middlesbrough."