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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Sunday, February 11th 2018

Johnson accepts "tactical errors"

City head coach Lee Johnson has held his hands up after seeing his side lose a 3-0 lead against Sunderland at Ashton Gate.

City were 3-0 ahead at half-time, thanks to Aden Flint's early goal and a brace from Famara Diédhiou but the Black Cats turned their fortunes around through Aiden McGeady and two own goals.

Reflecting on the result, Johnson said it was tactical mismanagement which aided Sunderland's second-half fightback.

He told BCTV he felt "anger, frustration and disappointment", adding " I should have made better tactical decisions to keep the game."

He continued: "I think we got caught going for more goals, to improve our goal difference at 3-0. At 3-1 I should have put another midfielder on to kill the game off but its something I will learn from and I have to hold my hands up. It wasn’t good management.

"It was a very good first half, although not a great opening 15/20 minutes where we didn’t do the basics well.

"We found ourselves in front with a good well-worked free kick and we had a good spell where we looked dangerous; Famara wasn’t able to get his studs on one to tip the ball over the line.

'SUNDERLAND PLAYED FOR PRIDE'

City had a host of opportunities to extend their lead, with Ryan Kent firing agonisingly wide, Loïs Diony mis-firing and Diédhiou being denied his hat-trick.

Johnson continued: “The chances we had today were very good, even in the second half we flashed one wide of the post but that isn’t an excuse against a side which were down there, like they are, who looked dead and buried.

"They are not going to just lay down and die. They have played for pride, upped their tempo when we dropped our tempo and we started to play a game that was not conducive to winning football.

"I should have recognised that earlier, not been greedy and I should have put another midfielder on."

Bobby Reid played the game with a "knock to his ankle" which forced him off at half time, although on reflection Johnson admitted should have let him continue.

"He was hobbling which you will see when you watch the game back but he wanted to continue," the head coach said.

"I felt at 3-0 putting on a strong substitute that would be enough to see the game through and potentially win the game by more so it was a case of precaution really for Bobby but in hindsight I should have probably left him on.”

WATCH THE FULL BCTV INTERVIEW