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Johnson Praises City Young Guns

Lee Johnson had no complaints with his side’s performance after City went toe to toe with Premier League opponents on their own patch in the Emirates FA Cup fourth round.

Hosts Burnley might easily have fallen behind just before Sam Vokes opened the scoring in the final minute of the first half, as Milan Djuric was only denied a maiden goal in English football by a close-range save from goalkeeper Nick Pope.

It would prove a significant moment in a tie that was effectively over when Steven Defour produced a sublime chip to double the Clarets’ lead in the 68th minute, but Johnson remained upbeat with the way his young team equipped themselves against last season’s Sky Bet Championship title winners.

“I think the performance was good and some individuals really stepped up to the Premier League style of play,” the head coach told Bristol City Player HD.

“You have to give credit to Burnley – they’re a very good, strong, physically fit and well organised outfit.

“They pin you in and apply pressure, but I thought we played out of that really well at times.

“Our young players on the pitch played with no fear and we had opportunities. If Milan Djuric’s header goes in, maybe the game takes a different course.

“The disappointing thing is the timing of the first goal, but I’ve been very positive with the players after the game because I thought we got a bit of our identity back today.

“I’m certainly not going to lambast my players today. The fans were fantastic – very supportive of myself and the players, which is greatly appreciated.”

Johnson reserved individual praise for the three youngest members of his starting XI.

“Callum O’Dowda was excellent in the first half against a Premier League player who has been around for a while now in Flanagan,” he added.

“Josh Brownhill was very neat and tidy in midfield and what a performance from Zak Vyner – a young player who has come through the Academy.

“He performed like he’s been in the Championship for five or ten years. He’s got a bright future and he did everything he could to retain the shirt for Tuesday.”