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‘Play like that again and we have a chance’ - Johnson

Lee Johnson believes City can still make the play-offs after a performance which gave him confidence for the final six league games.

City’s performance was not reflected in the result on Wednesday evening at the City Ground, where Nottingham Forest secured the only goal through Tiago Silva’s second-half free kick.

The Robins battled on, even when Ashley Williams was red carded for a clash with Yuri Ribeiro in the 79th minute.

Johnson admitted defeat was "a hard pill to swallow" and he recognised that City have now lost their last three games since the restart.

He said: “First and foremost, I feel I need to apologise on the form over the period of eight or nine games but in terms of the performance today, that was a very, very good performance from us. We should have scored, we limited a good side who are now fourth in the league to nothing apart from one piece of quality.

“I am taking encouragement. People may sit there and say it’s no good because the result’s not there, but we can affect the performance.

“The boys gave everything, I asked them to fight for each other, I’ll fight for them and they fought for me. Anybody who watched at home I think would find it hard to disagree. We are still fighting, we’re hurting because we want to be successful for everybody but over a period of time if we perform like that then good things will come.

“Our boys were outstanding: Baker was superb, Zak Vyner came in as a home-grown player and he puts in a sterling performance, Korey Smith and Ádám Nagy in the middle completely controlled the game against three men.

“I thought we were bright down the flanks with Callum O’Dowda and Jay Dasilva and it’s a hard pill to swallow tonight.

“I don’t feel down because the performance warrants the next performance and we’ve built momentum tonight. I know results are the most important thing at this moment in time but that was our game. If that comes out for 96 minutes like it did today then we’ll have a chance.

“I still think we have a chance if we play like that in every one of our last six games.”

Williams’ sending off with around 12 minutes of normal time plus injury time to go made City’s task harder but they still posed a threat against Sabri Lamouchi’s side.

Johnson continued: “I didn’t see the incident but it sounded like a rush of blood and it’s disappointing from a senior player, given we have 20 minutes of the game left including extra time to go and get a result.

“To be honest, after that with 10 men I still thought we were the better side, I thought we showed character and charisma and we were unlucky not to go and get a goal with the good chances we had at 10 v11.

City host Cardiff City at Ashton Gate this Saturday (July 4th, 3pm KO).

The match is available live on Robins TV to Season Card holders with all the build-up from 2pm.

As the game has also been selected for Sky Sports coverage, it is only available via a Robins TV audio pass for non-Season Card holders.

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