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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Saturday, December 29th 2018

‘I always believed’ – Johnson

City Head Coach Lee Johnson says he never doubted his side as they battled for a 1-0 win at home to Rotherham United.

City had wave after wave of attack in BS3 but it wasn’t until Adam Webster’s 86th-minute header which broke the deadlock.

Paul Warne’s Rotherham United went down to nine men in the second half but continued to hang on until the home side’s pressure finally told.

Speaking after the final whistle, Johnson said he “always believed” in his players to get the win, which sees City stretch their unbeaten run to seven matches and end 2018 on a high.

Keeping belief

“I did, I always believed. It’s a corny comment but we’re Bristol City, we always believe. I think it was relevant today and I believed our players would break them down in the end.

“I thought Rotherham were fantastic in their spirit and the way they put their bodies on the line and their goalkeeper was outstanding.”

City looking up

“It was another really difficult game. Rotherham have put in performances like that throughout their season. Everyone thought they would be the whipping boys at the start of the season but we knew how fit they are and after a tough game away I am really pleased with the players after that result.

“It leaves us seven games unbeaten and we’re starting to look up and players’ partnerships are coming together. We made changes, the subs made a difference and gave us added impetus. You want to be strong everywhere in this division.”

Playing with intensity

“We wanted to start with tempo because we know they are a very fit side. It probably caught up with them in the end given the fact they couldn’t rotate as much as we could. I think that led to the sendings off; our pace on the counter, sipping through the lines.”

Room for improvement

“I was disappointed with our defending at times in the first half, we made it too easy for them to get in. They have a dangerous long throw and I picked a small team today.

“I picked a team to take the ball, be nippy and have good ball manipulation but I am very pleased to get the three points in our last home game of the year. It sends everyone into 2019 happy.

How fans spurred players on to victory

“I thought the fans were brilliant today. They saw it coming, the players tried to jeer them up and we talked about that; at corner and free kicks and other opportunities and they reciprocated that be jeering the players on. It works both ways of course and they definitely played a huge part in the result today.”