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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Wednesday, February 13th 2019

Johnson praises focused Famara

Head Coach Lee Johnson hailed Famara Diédhiou's "nerves of steel" with the striker's stoppage-time penalty firing City to their ninth win in a row.

The Senegal forward stepped up after winning the penalty to complete the 2-1 scoreline, after Niclas Eliasson had drawn City level with a curling effort of his own.

Johnson was also pleased Eliasson took his chance after coming on as a first-half substitute, following an injury to Andreas Weimann.

Having faith in Famara

"I had absolute faith in him. I’ve seen him, he practices his penalties every other day in training and what most impressed me was the time it took from the decision, to the time he struck the ball and he had nerves of steel. He was very focused, the lads did well to rally around him, it was a fantastic strike and nobody will save that."

Niclas' goal and taking his chance

"It was a great goal and credit to him because he works hard on his extras in training. He’ll be disappointed not to be starting more regularly  but that’s the way to answer that.

"I can’t play any more than 11 players, if I could I would play him, Kasey Palmer, Matty Taylor but the boys are flying. Evereyone has to wait their chance and take it. Through Andi’s injury he's come on and certainly taken that chance."

Second-half substitutions

"We needed players who were natural playing forward, being brave in the spaces. I dropped Pato into centre midfield and was saw a great setup for the goal, a great bit of skill to flick the ball to Eliasson. Jay Dasilva gives us a different type of player, we didn’t need a tall player in Lloyd Kelly, we needed somebody who could attack the opposition."

Responding in the second half

"I wasn’t happy at half-time. Tactically we were fine but we weren’t committing the opposition anywhere near enough.

"We played the game like a testimonial. I don’t know if that was through fear or fatigue but we needed to commit the space, we needed to create opportunities to get close to Famara. That’s what I asked for and the boys delivered.

"I didn’t get wound up too much but on this occasion it was to spark their own belief levels. The crowd did that as well for us, it was a joint effort! Let them enjoy it and we’ll continue to improve the performance. First half I wasn’t happy but in the second half I was very proud of the group."