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Johnson Pleased With Tough Pompey Test

Lee Johnson was pleased to see his team given a good test on their return to Ashton Gate after three months away

Bristol City's six previous pre-season friendlies had been played away from home, but the towering new West Stand welcomed them back to BS3 for the seventh and final warm-up against Sky Bet League Two opponents Portsmouth.

Ultimately Johnson’s men would have to settle for a goalless draw in a game that got better the longer it went on, but the head coach believes an even contest will serve them well ahead of the big kick-off against Wigan Athletic next Saturday (3pm).

“It is still pre-season and we worked quite hard yesterday,” he told Bristol City Player HD. “It’s all about peaking for next Saturday – not today – so I wouldn’t say we were in peak condition for a normal game.

“It was against tough opposition too – they’re a very good side and I expect them to get promoted this year. 

“When our subs came on they gave us a bit of impetus and energy, which was what the game needed. There are still things to work on, but that’s ok because it’s all part of the plan.

“Overall, it was a really good game for us. I don’t think you want a game that you’re going to win 3-0 or 4-0 right before the season.

“We knew it would be tough, the Pompey fans were vocal and boisterous and it was a good atmosphere considering it was a pre-season friendly.

“It was nice to see the new stand with all the covers off – it was a lovely day and the stand just looks phenomenal.”

Johnson welcomed returning loanee Adam Matthews into his starting line-up for a competitive 60-minute workout, but fellow summer signing Gary O’Neil was absent from the squad.

The midfielder damaged his medial knee ligament in training yesterday (Friday), but Johnson declared it “too early” to gauge his availability for the season opener.

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