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Johnson Admits 'Relief' After Return To Winning Ways

Lee Johnson admitted the overwhelming feeling was one of relief after seeing his team end a five-match winless run with victory over Ipswich Town at Ashton Gate.

Lee Tomlin scored City’s first home goal in the first half of a game this season from the penalty spot after 31 minutes when Tammy Abraham was sent tumbling by goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski.

But on a day of firsts Luke Freeman stole the headlines with a stunning second-half volley for his first home goal for the club on his 59th Ashton Gate appearance.

“It feels very sweet but I think the feeling of relief is the strongest one,” head coach Johnson told Bristol City Player HD.

“I think we needed it and the players deserved it. The fans were great and coming back home was good – we hadn’t played here for a month.

“When the fans get behind us like they did today, it always gives us a boost. Maybe that enhanced the result.

“We’ve had some decent performances in the past couple of weeks but the games have been too open.

“To score in the first half was important – particularly at home. I think we deserved the penalty because it looked like one to me. We needed to have something to hold on to and be able to break off.

“You felt the confidence dipping a little bit and that’s why I picked an experienced side. We picked a team that was solid, not only in their positional play but in the information they give to their team-mates.

“We had to wrestle ourselves into the game. It was always going to be tough, but I thought there were some sterling, steady performances out there from our boys.

“We know we’ve got the one or two bits of quality we need in certain areas to deliver a bit of magic.”

That magic was forthcoming on 72 minutes, as Freeman met a headed clearance firmly on the volley from 25 yards with a sweet strike that sailed past Bialkowski before he could move a muscle.

Johnson admitted he was previously unaware that goals had always eluded the winger on home turf.

“I just found out and it’s interesting,” he added. “That could be the monkey off the back.

“It was a fantastic strike and it’s something that we work on quite regularly – the technique of volleying.

“I was delighted for him. For the fans I think it was a real sparkle to the performance – that goal was worth the entrance fee alone.”

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