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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Friday, March 30th 2018

Oakwell is a tough place to play - Johnson

Lee Johnson doesn't expect an easy ride when his City side travel to take on relegation-threatened Barnsley on Good Friday (3pm kick-off).

The match will see the City head coach go up against his former employers once more and he took time in his pre-match chat with BCTV this week to reflect on his managerial days at Oakwell.

Johnson said: "I had good and difficult times there but I went there with a job to do, in terms of a Championship hangover. There was a big budget reduction and we had to get better.

"It looked scary a couple of times but we had a very successful season, we won the Johnstone's Paint Trophy and won promotion as well. It’s been difficult for them this year and they’ve had to rebuild which is never easy, particularly as a smaller club for the division.

"We’ve gone through similar rebuilding phases here but now we look like we can compete at the level with the group that we have."

While City ran out 3-1 winners in the reverse fixture at Ashton Gate on the opening day of the season, Johnson expects different things from Friday's opposition, who have a new manager at the helm in José Morais.

WATCH: CITY 3-1 BARNSLEY

Johnson continued: "It’s difficult to read exactly what they are doing at the moment. He’s mixed and matched a couple of formations but I think in this period, the focus has to be on ourselves.

"When we’ve been at our best we’ve been very difficult to play against. The challenge for us is to go into the final stretch refreshed and full of confidence from the last win and try to play our game.

"Barnsley is always a difficult place to go. With Bristol City, be it playing or managing, it has been a difficult place to go because of the environment that is created by the Barnsley fans.

WATCH: PATERSON AND JOHNSON PRE-BARNSLEY AWAY

Barnsley in the spotlight

  • Barnsley have won only twice this calendar year

  • The Tykes have picked up five points since José Morais took charge as Barnsley boss in February

  • Barnsley have not beaten City since 2012

  • Barnsey sit 21st in the Sky Bet Championship on 33 points, the same as Birmingham City.