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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Friday, December 15th 2017

Paterson is back to his best - Johnson

Jamie Paterson is back to playing his best football, according to the City head coach.

Lee Johnson has heaped praise on his number 20, who is set to line up against his former side, Nottingham Forest, when they travel to Ashton gate on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

Paterson signed for City at the start of the 2016/17 season and scored the winner in this fixture last year.

Speaking to BCTV about his attack-minded, versatile midfielder, Johnson said: "I think Jamie has found a home here, he's been excellent with us. It took him, I think, three or four months to adjust after a really good spell, as to what we are after and for him to grow up a little bit and to grow as a human.

"He's now at an age where he's maturing. He's at home here, everybody loves him here and he's one of the first players on the teamsheet.

"He had that unfortunate illness that left him on a drip in a hospital in Nottingham for week to ten days and it did affect him, we could see it knocked him back. You could see how withdrawn he was in his face and however hard he tried he couldn't seem to get his power back. 

"But we gave him vitamins, the right nutrients, the protein and now he's back to playing his best football."

WHAT HE SAID

"He's at home here, everybody loves him here and he's one of the first players on the teamsheet."

Lee Johnson

MANCHESTER UNITED WARM-UP

Nottingham Forest at the Gate will be City's final game before their Carabao Cup quarter-final tie against Manchester United.

Regarding team selection for that one, Johnson said he faces difficult decisions, because the whole squad has played a part in the cup run.

He said: "I don't think any of my players have to prove a point at this stage for the Manchester United game. We trust all of our squad and we have shown that in the previous games. The squad has got us to this point and that is important to note. 

"It's going to be a difficult team selection, for a number of reasons. Particularly because there are one or two that deserve to play that won't play, so we'll just have to see. Genuinely, the focus is on this really big game on Saturday. It's a tough one but if our spirit is good and our energy is good, then like any game we have the potential to win.

UPGRADE PLANS FOR FAILAND

Big news this week has focussed on City's planning application for new training facilities at their Failand camp.

Speaking about the plans, Johnson added: "The club has showed its ambitions non stop. A huge credit has to go to Steve Lansdown, the Lansdown family and the board because they have been pushing for it for a number of years. This feels like the next correct stage for the Lansdown legacy and it's about what is right for the club. 

"So much has been invested in local sport, in the people of Bristol and, rightly so, Steve Lansdown picked up his OBE in front of the Queen.

"This is just another step because if we can get it through, and I hope that we can, it will help people in Bristol and their lives, particularly Academy players.

"Even if they are not good enough to make the Bristol City first team, hopefully they will be good enough to make a footballing career. If they are not good enough to have a career, or choose not to have a career they will be well-rounded individuals that can go into the community and get good jobs."

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