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Chance To Win A Few Hearts Back - Johnson

Lee Johnson has declared his intentions to “win a few hearts back” by ending City’s losing league run against Severnside rivals Cardiff City at Ashton Gate tomorrow (12noon).

City halted a slide of six successive defeats with a goalless draw against Fleetwood Town in the Emirates FA Cup third round last time out.

But the head coach knows the importance of points on the board and sees a derby clash as the best possible tonic to lift spirits around the club.

“It’s an opportunity to win a few hearts back,” Johnson told Bristol City Player HD.

“There’s a frustration there and trust me, no one feels it more than me. I’m in my dream job in my dream location wanting to do the right things for the club.

“I believe, one hundred per cent, that we’ve got a really bright future. I think people generally do feel that way, even though our form is obviously very disappointing.

“This is a great opportunity to come together and support each other.

“The supporters have been great, but after any run of bad results like we’ve been on, people get a little bit disillusioned and despondent until you get your next win.

“Everybody will be up for this – from the staff to the fans to the players to the directors.

“This is a big game for us and it’s one that we love. We want big games – we’re in the Championship and it’s a big boy’s league. We’re thoroughly looking forward to it.”

Johnson was twice on the winning side as a player in Severnside derbies at Ashton Gate, but is still seeking his first victory over Cardiff as a head coach.

“It would give me great satisfaction,” he added. “Not only because it’s a big local derby against a rival for us in the Championship, but also because we want to get that win under our belt.

“Both teams have got to earn the right to play – win your tackles and win your headers. Flair is certainly not one of the most important factors early in the game, but then you build into it.

“The first goal is always massive and it will be in this game as well. We’ve got to make sure we start on the front foot and full of energy to go and get it.”

Tickets remain on general sale for the Severnside derby, with a crowd in excess of 18,000 guaranteed. Call 0117 963 0600 or buy online