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Johnson praises clean sheet

Lee Johnson was as delighted with City’s second-successive league clean sheet as he was with Niclas Eliasson’s 87th-minute winner. 

City overcame an energetic Barnsley side with defenders Nathan Baker and Ashley Williams at the heart of a whole-team defensive effort bolstered by Dan Bentley's crucial saves.

And here’s what the head coach told Robins TV:

Keeping a clean sheet  

"Barnsley are very good at forcing you into backward passes and, at the point, they put us under a lot of pressure but, as the game grew, I thought we were the better side and were the more comfortable.

Dan Bentley made some crucial saves

“I know the talent we have got in the team. I thought that was epitomised in the goal but the first port of call is a clean sheet. At times we had to ride our luck or there’s been very important blocks and very good defending.”

Niclas Eliasson scored in the 87th minute

Eliasson goal

“It was a great feeling when Niclas Eliasson put the ball in the net. The goal was important for a number of reasons and we did have our chances.

"Barnsley are a really difficult side to play against – the new manager has come in and you can see what he has implemented and they have been on really good form. They are going to have breakaways playing that diamond system. We had to make sure we marshalled that and play slightly more direct than usual today knowing that the game would open up in the last 20 minutes and there would be a bit of space.”

Ashley Williams made numerous crucial blocks along with Nathan Baker

Guts

“I felt that we had to apologise for our performance at Shrewsbury because everybody wanted the Liverpool game and we failed to get the job done. But we need to continue decent league form - that’s three wins in four in the league which you’d take all day long and I thought the guys showed real guts today.”

 

Famara Diédhiou wins another header

Diédhiou

“Famara worked his socks off today with the amount of aerial duels he had to win because we did go more direct. I’m not going to apologise for that because we did it for a reason and it paid dividends in the end-game."

 

Jack Hunt in a challenge with Ben Williams

Fighting spirit

Jay Dasilva showed his pace to pick the ball up in his own half and beat two defenders before crossing for Eliasson.

On that, Johnson said: “We all know what Jay can do and to have a player like him out for four or five months has epitomised what has happened to us, along with injuries to (Tomas) Kalas and (Benik) Afobe, so that’s why I am pleased that we are still in there and still fighting.

“We got a lot of flak after the Tuesday game and that was fair game. I think the boys have really shown today that they have apologised and are still up for a real fight.”

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