Banner image

Barnsley Predicament Was Similar - Johnson

Lee Johnson sees similarities between the difficult run of form he managed to overturn at Barnsley and the current predicament at Ashton Gate.

The head coach returns to Highbury Stadium tonight – the scene of his last match in charge of the Tykes – for City’s Emirates FA Cup third round replay on the back of an eight-match winless streak.
Back in 2015, Johnson’s Barnsley lost eight successive league matches, but within three months he was departing as a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy finalist after eight games unbeaten.
“I thought the run that we had at Barnsley was because we needed two or three players in certain positions,” he recalled, speaking to Bristol City Player HD. “We had six or seven very good players.
“In one sense it’s similar, because there were certain phases to that Barnsley plan and we managed to do a three-step plan in two steps. That’s what we’re hoping to do now.
“We’re hoping to add in the January transfer window, like we already have, and everyone will have seen that the three players have definitely improved us as a squad.
“That makes the other players feel good and it makes us feel stronger as a group. Hopefully we’ll get one or two more in.
“We’ve been the hunter nigh on every game for 70-80 minutes, but become the hunted in the last 10-15. That’s the bit we’ll be looking to improve on.”
Eleven months ago, a 1-1 draw at Fleetwood took Barnsley to a penalty shoot-out, eventually prevailing 4-2 on spot-kicks to book their place at Wembley.
“It was a strange night,” Johnson recalled. “I knew of the interest from Bristol City, but I had to try and focus on Barnsley and it was a great night for the football club.
“To get into the JPT final and eventually go on and win it was fantastic. For myself personally, it was an awkward evening.
“I wanted to do the job for the club, but I also knew there was the potential of coming down to Bristol.”
City make the long trip to Lancashire after a goalless draw at Ashton Gate ten days ago.
“The two formations almost cancelled each other out,” the boss added. “We didn’t get the ball forward early enough, whereas we did do that on Saturday (against Cardiff).
“We have to do that, because our dangerous players are up top and we have to get them nice, early ball.
“I believed that as a player – that you try to get the wide men and the forwards the ball early – and I believe that as a head coach.”