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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Wednesday, March 28th 2018

Johnson reflects on international break

Lee Johnson says City are well-rested and ready to go for the final stretch of their Championship campaign.

The Easter weekend marks the beginning of the end of the 2017/18 season, starting with a trip to relegation-threatened Barnsley on Good Friday (March 30th, 3pm kick-off).

A win at Oakwell could see City spring back into the play-off places as they go in search of their first promotion to the Premier League.

The game comes off the back of the final international break ahead of this summer's World Cup.

City head coach Johnson, who will face his former employer this Friday, told BCTV: "It’s been good, I think. Everyone is well-rested particularly after a win against Ipswich. It was a hard-fought win, a tough game which we played well in up to a certain point.

"We didn’t have the dynamic to score enough but we saw a great ball from Lloyd (Lloyd Kelly) and a great goal from Milan (Djuric). That settled everybody, showed we are doing things correctly and we go into the last eight games full of endeavour and enthusiasm."

Hordur Magnusson (Iceland), Bailey Wright (Australia), Rory Holden (Northern Ireland U21s), Joe Morrell (Wales U21s) Gustav Engvall (Sweden) and Lloyd Kelly (England U20s) all travelled with their respective countries over the last week.

DELIGHT FOR LLOYD KELLY

However, a slight knock to Magnusson picked up in the Ipswich Town win prevented him from playing but there was specific praise for left-back Kelly.

"Lloydy played as well and I’m delighted he has had recognition with England," said Johnson who also has Joe Bryan ready for selection after serving his two-game suspension.

"It’s excellent for all our players to play and get international recognition, no matter what level, and they will come back into this group as quickly as possible.

"He has been doing well. Joe is a top player as well and we hope Lloyd will come through the Academy in the same vein. I’ve enjoyed Lloyd's development both on a personal and football level this season and there’s lots more to come from him. But of course it [who to choose as left-back on Friday] is a difficult decision to make."

WATCH: PATERSON AND JOHNSON DISCUSS BARNSLEY TRIP