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Johnson Hails 'Outstanding' City Despite Cup Exit

Lee Johnson hailed his side’s performance “outstanding” despite seeing the club’s best EFL Cup run for 27 seasons come to an end at the hands of Hull City at Ashton Gate.

City were ultimately undone by two headed goals from corners, scored by Harry Maguire and Michael Dawson in quick succession either side of half-time, but bossed much of the game in general play.

The Premier League visitors were left hanging on in the closing stages after substitute Lee Tomlin halved the deficit, but a young City side displaying nine changes were not quite able to force the tie into extra time.

“I was very proud, particularly of our young players, because I thought we were outstanding tonight,” Johnson told Bristol City Player HD.

“In the last half-hour we played some exceptional football – neat, tidy, intricate play with one-twos and attempts on goal.

“We’ve put together a group of generally under-24s – with a little bit of experience – and it’s important that we play them and give them the opportunity to shine.

“I feel disappointed that we’ve lost the game, but it’s a fantastic marker for us to move forward. The young players that played were so impressive.”

Johnson insisted the manner of the goals his team conceded was not a cause of regret due to the considerable size advantage in favour of the Tigers.

“It’s difficult because they had a really big side out and they’ve always been a big side,” he added.

“We only had Flint, Wilbraham and Pack who were over six foot. It’s difficult to deal with that.

“In my opinion, in general play, we were the better side. That bodes so well for the club and for the future.

“The likes of Taylor Moore, Callum O’Dowda and Bobby Reid are only going to get better.

“I thought Gustav Engvall was good on his first appearance at Ashton Gate – there were so many positives from so many players.

“It was brilliant for Shawn McCoulsky to make his debut and well deserved. I’m delighted for him and it’s another advert for our youth setup, because if they’re playing well I promise I’ll play them.”