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Dave Barton

Dave Barton writes

Posted Sunday, October 21st 2018

Johnson delighted with 'professional, well-earned win'

Lee Johnson praised his team for a “professional, well-earned win” after Niclas Eliasson’s 89th-minute volley secured all three points at Griffin Park.

And with league debutant Max O’Leary – one of four City Academy products in the matchday squad – keeping a clean sheet, it was a day to savour in West London.

Brentford had Chris Mepham sent off for a second yellow card and the head coach said: “There was a lot of endeavour today and we had to stick in there for the first 15-20 minutes.

“Subconsciously we probably showed the opposition too much respect. But then there was a break in play when we could pull the players over and get them going again. I thought it was very even-steven until the sending-off and then we took over and it was a very professional, well-earned win.

“For the whole of the international break we have been working on our wing play and our movement in the box. I was delighted for Eliasson which was his first league goal. You’ve got to get in there 10 times to get that one goal at the far post. Yes, they had 10 men but you have still got to arrive there.”

O’Leary made an assured first league appearance and Johnson added: “I am very proud of Max. I thought he was brilliant today, he handled the occasion very well, right from the first ball when he came and claimed it. He was very assured. What more can you ask – it’s a clean-sheet, a win away from home at Brentford in your league debut!"

City's shot-stopper was joined in the squad by fellow City Academy graduates Lloyd Kelly, Joe Morrell and Jojo Wollacott.

And with Jay Dasilva coming on for the injured Baker after 20 minutes and Kelly switching to centre-back, Johnson was pleased with his young guns.  

“Jay is a great player and I am pleased that people have seen that now,” said Johnson “He tidies up, he’s sharp, his centre of gravity is good and he can deliver crosses. Lloyd Kelly did well also. It’s not easy to shift position. We had a lot of young players out there, particularly at the end with Liam Walsh, Jay Dasilva, Max and Kelly and I thought we saw the game out very professionally.”

DASILVA IN ACTION AT GRIFFIN PARK

And Johnson had a special word for the 1,645 who made the trip across the M4, saying: “The fans were brilliant from start to finish – a perfect balance of encouragement for the young players, aggression we needed it and joy with the win at the end."

City now welcome Hull City to Ashton Gate on Wednesday (October 24th) followed by Stoke City three days later (October 27th).

“It’s been a difficult little run because we haven’t been playing really bad but we felt we deserved a couple more points and wins than we have had in the last five games,” said Johnson. “It’s going to be nice going back to Ashton Gate with a good positive atmosphere moving into another big game against Hull.”

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