Nigel Pearson says George Tanner shouldn't have played in his final game for Carlisle United - and has criticised comments made by Blues boss Chris Beech.

The Bristol City manager, who signed Tanner from the Cumbrians last month, spoke out yesterday.

He discussed the six-figure signing of Tanner from the Blues, describing the young defender as "accomplished" and "an investment".

And Pearson also pointedly referred to remarks made by Blues boss Beech when the United head coach spoke to the Cumbrian media, including the News & Star, about Tanner's departure last week.

Beech had said Tanner's performance at Hartlepool two weeks ago was one of the worst he had seen from the right-back and that he had had his head turned by the transfer interest.

Carlisle's boss also said he had had to teach the ex-Manchester United player how to take a throw-in and how to win aerial contests during his time at Brunton Park.

Pearson, speaking to Bristol Live, said United should not have selected the defender in the Hartlepool game - despite the transfer not having been rubber-stamped at the time.

He said yesterday: "I thought it was a bit poor of Carlisle to make the statement that they did when he [Tanner] left. Especially by his ex-manager.

"At the end of the day he shouldn't have played that Saturday against Hartlepool.

"If he's their scapegoat then good luck to them."

Pearson, who managed Carlisle in the 1998/9 season, said Tanner has impressed in trainig so far.

He added of the Championship club's move for the 21-year-old: "That was an example of a left-field one where it shows you that we've always got an angle on what we're looking for. Not just in the short term but in the medium and long term.

"He's a really good one, a really good investment for us. Ideally we'd like to produce players for every position but that's almost impossible. That's too big an ask for the academy.

"Our academy does exceptionally well producing players, but George is quite an accomplished player already.

"It was an opportunity to add in a position that we would probably be only looking at in two windows time. But that's where flexibility comes in. He's an investment for us."