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‘A brilliant day all round’ – Johnson

From the performances on the pitch to the fun off it, Lee Johnson was full of praise for this year’s community fixture with Hallen FC.

The City head coach described Saturday’s events as a “brilliant day” and turning his attentions to the football, had special praise for his young players.

They played their part in a 14-0 victory at the Hallen Centre where Andreas Weimann scored a hat-trick. New recruit Sammie Szmodics scored two, with Marley Watkins getting himself on the scoresheet before an Antoine Semenyo brace. Matty Taylor, Connor Evans, Jonny Smith and Rory Holden all added to the scores, with another double from Saikou Janneh.

“First and foremost they have offered fantastic hospitality,” Johnson said as he hailed the hosts. “Halen have a lovely setup and it has been perfect for us. The pitch has been looked after ever so well, the kids have had a lot of fun and they gave up three changing rooms for us.

“It’s been a brilliant day and then of course there’s the football. The young lads did really well. I’m looking for the vital signs in terms of fitness and sharpness and players hungry to take their chance, particularly when they are on show in front of a big crowd like they were today.”

When asked if he saw those signs today, Johnson replied: “Yes absolutely. You expect it from the senior pros but the young players are getting physically stronger, mentally they more in tune with the senior players and you can see the benefits of the loans they have had. I’m mainly very pleased with the young players today.”

Watch the full interview: