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Adam Baker

Adam Baker writes

Posted Tuesday, December 19th 2017

Johnson talks coats, wine and José

Lee Johnson had plenty to smile about when he met the national media at Ashton Gate ahead of tomorrow’s cup tie with Manchester United.

The head coach has guided his team to third in the Sky Bet Championship, as well as reaching the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup for the first time since 1988/89.

Heading towards Christmas, his team have suffered just three defeats, and next up in the diary are the three-time European champions – in front of a sell-out crowd in BS3.

But those aren’t the only things bringing a smile to Johnson’s face. On Saturday, as City secured a fourth-straight league win with a 2-1 success against Nottingham Forest, fans began chanting about his attire.

Decked in a Peaky Blinders hat and a tan coat, supporters from the Ashton Gate singing section enquired: “We want to know…where you got that coat?”

“It was quite funny,” Johnson told BCTV. “The supporter who orchestrates the singing is my new hero and I did chuckle at that, watching the social media video four or five times.

“However, I’d like to focus to be on the pitch on Wednesday and not on my garments. I’ve had to buy a new coat now given the amount of stick I received!”

PIGGY BANK JOB

That’s not the only splashing of the cash that Johnson has been doing.

He’s “raided my daughter’s piggy bank” to stump up £450 for a bottle of wine to treat the opposition gaffer at Ashton Gate.

José Mourinho will stand just yards away in the opposition dugout and Johnson is relishing the test.

He added: “I’ve purchased an extremely expensive bottle of wine, Portgueuese red, which I’ve heard he likes. Hopefully it will be enough to entice him into my office after so that we can have a good chat.

“It would be great to pick his brains on one of two things. However, I have to be honest, in the technical area he’s just another manager.

“My competitive nature and our players’ nature will be to try and out-gun the top-class opposition we’re up against on the pitch and in the technical area.

“We certainly won’t be in awe of Manchester United or fear them. Our focus is on progression into the next round; it will be tough but we’ll give it our all.”

But will his daughter miss out on a Christmas present in lieu of his wine spend?

“Well she’s going to have to, but it’s worth it if we get three loans out of it,” Johnson grins again.

Will his smile widen even further on Wednesday evening. Find out from 8pm.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW ON BCTV

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