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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Wednesday, August 22nd 2018

Johnson dedicates QPR victory to Smith

Lee Johnson has devoted City's first victory of the new season to the injured Korey Smith.

The Robins secured a 3-0 win at QPR - the club's first victory at Loftus Road since 1977 - courtesy of Matty Taylor's first half strike and Andreas Weimann's brace.

City's coaching staff asked for a reaction following the home defeat to Middlesbrough 72 hours ago, and the head coach was delighted with the response from his players.

"It was a great reaction and a great feeling because we worked ever so hard tonight," Johnson told BCTV.

"The boys were warriors to a man and they deserved it. It has been quite a while since we last won away from home, although we did beat Bitton in 2018, but it’s an important result," he joked.

"I’m pleased for everybody but Matty (Taylor) does love a goal. Every time he comes off the pitch having not scored he’s agitated so I’m delighted he is now up and running.

"The fans have a great song for him. That’s important because it creates an atmosphere, an environment and I encourage them to find songs for the new players because when they’re up, they’re fantastic and they deserved that win today.

"The confidence comes from our preparation which was good. We switched our mentality a bit. I told the boys I wanted to see 80 per cent warrior and 20 per cent artist because we got the balance wrong last Saturday when I think we were 80 percent artists and 20 per cent soldiers.

"Webby (Adam Webster) was fantastic today, he put his body on the line, won every single header, plus they threw caution to the wind when Matt Smith came on, but I thought our back line were really solid in their clearances. We have good footballers with speed so at that point when we’re solid the space is there to go and hurt people and we did that today.

POST-MATCH REACTION ON BCTV

The only negative to come from the City camp was the news surrounding Korey Smith, with the midfielder set for a four to six month spell on the sidelines after undergoing successful knee surgery.

"We all feel for Korey," Johnson continued. "We dedicate that win to him.

"I’m gutted for him. He’s had his operation and he’s probably out for between four and six months. It’s not ideal because not only is he a very good player but he’s a character and a leader in our dressing room.

"As soon as he came around from his operation he text the boys to say ‘let’s get the win tonight’. The first thing he’s thinking about after coming around is the boys getting a win so that one was for him tonight.

"We have good young players available though. Joe Morrell just missed out on the squad today as did Connor Lemonheigh-Evans but they are ready now.

"We still need a centre-half and if one of the others can come back in the meantime then that’s fine. We have players who can play in midfield, we can roll into a three, we can play a five at the back confidently with this team."

SWANSEA BEAMBACK CONFIRMED

City return to competitive action on Saturday (August 25th, 3pm) when they take on Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium in front a sold out away end. The club will be hosting a beamback for the Sky Bet Championship clash in Ashton Gate's Sports Bar & Pizzeria.

For further information, click here.

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