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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Thursday, October 4th 2018

Johnson encouraged by second-half performance

Lee Johnson says City must continue to improve, after their 0-0 draw away to Rotherham United. 

The home side showed why they have made the New York Stadium a difficult place for travelling clubs to play football, although City showed more attacking intent in the second-half and were unlucky not to have taken the points, having struck the woodwork twice.

Substitutes Marley Watkins and Jamie Paterson were the pair to go closest, but the Welshman couldn't scramble the ball over the line, before Paterson's curling effort crashed off the crossbar in the final ten minutes.

Reflecting on the match, Johnson said: "I think in the second half we were strong, we finished stronger. They (Rotherham) are a busy side, they worked their socks off and they’ve got a lot of busy players. They had a few injuries today but the 11 were busy and they were forced to play that way."

WATCH: JOHNSON POST-ROTHERHAM AWAY REACTION

Half-time inspiration helps City kick-on

"They penned us in in the first half, we couldn’t get out. One or two players weren’t at the races and were too timid. It was a stern talking to (at half-time) just to get them to play. We have to be bold, playing our own individual game and we did that in the second half and the subs came on and gave us more physical prowess.

"Matty (Taylor) was good, he brought people into the play and we looked more experienced and secure in the second half. I don’t know how Marley has missed his chance, he had what seemed like 15 goes at it and not managed to tuck it in! Then Pato hit the bar and we had numerous opportunities to get shots off."

The head coach praised Rotherham for the way they set themselves up but he was also pleased by his side's response after the break.

Johnson continued: "Fair play to Rotherham United though, they did well and they remained a threat on the counter. I would have shaken your hand and taken the point at half-time because there was a long way to go after not playing well but I gave credit to the boys at the end because the second half was much, much better."

Room for improvement

"We’re always learning and there are a lot of young players in the dressing room. I think we need to demand more of each other. We talked about this last year, we want wingers to produce, and it’s mainly through influencing others to bring your own best game out - that could be wrapping the ball with speed, pointing so they know where to pass from; there are many elements to it but we just need to continue improving."

City head home to BS3 as they prepare to face Sheffield Wednesday in the Sky Bet Championship on Sunday (October 7th, 1.30pm).

And Johnson is hoping a strong home crowd can see his side get back to winning ways.

He said: "We’re still one point off the play-offs after tonight, with a brand new team and we go again. There will be a packed stadium on Sunday, I hope. Nobody is allowed out on Saturday night so I want everybody rested up and ready to warm the vocals up for a loud Ashton Gate!"

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