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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Saturday, January 27th 2018

Johnson hails "unbelievable character" in QPR win

Lee Johnson says there were plenty of positives in how ten-man City recorded their 2-0 home win against QPR.

Despite Nathan Baker's first-half red card, the Robins dominated much of the game against Ian Holloway's side.

Famara Diédhiou's first goal since September got City off and running with Joe Bryan firing in City's second goal after the break.

City went into the tie off the back of a demanding Carabao Cup semi-final clash against Manchester City. 

Johnson told BCTV: "I'm very happy tonight because I thought the character we showed was unbelievable. To go down to ten men against a good QPR side that have got dangerous players particularly with the man advantage. I'm very pleased with our players.

"I thought energy levels were good, I thought our substitutes who came on did very well, replenished what we lost and defenders put their bodies on the line.

"Aden Flint, Bailey Wright, Hordur Magnusson and Luke Steele really protected the goal which is what we had to do. We looked reasonably comfortable due to the work rate the players put in."

WHAT HE SAID

"I thought energy levels were good, I thought our substitutes who came on did very well, replenished what we lost and defenders put their bodies on the line."

Lee Johnson

PLAYING AGAINST THE EXTRA MAN

City's boss added: "Of course they have the numerical advantage and we had to do everything tactically to nullify that advantage.

"We saw they started slinging diagonal balls towards Matt Smith. I brought an extra defender on with Magnusson to support Joe Bryan in a flat five. Josh Brownhill was on the other side and Korey (Smith), Paky (Marlon Pack) and Bobby Reid are all three good runners in the middle who had to shuffle and I thought that won us the game in the end."

DIÉDHIOU'S RETURN

Making his first start since October, Diédhiou got the ball rolling with a superb glancing header to convert Ryan Kent's driven corner kick.

The Senegalese striker rushed to celebrate with City's head physio Steve Allen and his team as a special tribute to the part they played is his rehabilitation.

"It's been a long road for him," Johnson added. "The medical staff have all been very supportive.

"He's a great lad and it was nice he shared the credit with the physio team. He's a big player for us and you saw Lois come on as well. He looked bright and when he was slipped in he was half a yard off but you saw the pace and power he has.

"Ryan Kent did well and we have threats all over the pitch and that's the key. The Championship is difficult but we must keep moving the ball quickly, and attacking teams."

WATCH: DIÉDHIOU AND BRYAN POST-QPR ON BCTV