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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Saturday, January 19th 2019

'Professional display in a big win' - Johnson

Lee Johnson says City proved themselves when it mattered and believes they can be even better.

Famara Diédhiou struck the winning goal against Nottingham Forest to send the Robins back to Bristol with all three points - their fifth consecutive win as part of an 11-game unbeaten run in all competitions.

Johnson was delighted with the striker, who netted his eighth goal of the campaign, as well as praising keeper Frank Fielding on earning a clean sheet in his first match of the season.

The 1-0 victory meant defeat for Martin O'Neill on his first game in charge of Forest.

The occasion

Head Coach Johnson said: "It was a big win, we had to deal with a lot today. The prodigal son returned and it was all set up for us to end our run against a new, famous manager (O'Neill) but I thought we were very professional.

"I thought we were good throughout though not at our most slick. We missed decent chances early on but in the key moments key players performed, be that Diédhiou tucking it in and a big shout-out to Frankie (Fielding), having not played in a long time, pulled off some fantastic saves."

A seamless reshuffle

"We showed our strength in depth, both teams had injuries, but we were stronger (than Forest) with the boys who came in. They were mainly forced (changes). We had a terrible week lwhich is why I thought they were excellent because the ones who came in looked fit, bright and we defended a lot; not in terms of massive chances for Forest but corners where we put our heads on things, and we did the basics well.

The decisive goal

"It was a great turn from Kasey Palmer who put Weimann, and he should have shot, but he squared it to Fam [Diédhiou] and he’s tucked it in from six yards.

"Last week he was frustrated and he wants to score goals, it’s what he lives for, and credit to our midfielders and wide men for their decent supply. Again, it was lovely to see it fall to him in in the box, he got across his man and slammed it in."

How to keep the run going

"We want to keep the run going but we can only do that with quality and professional performances. Our run will come to an end but we have to go again, that’s not to be too down on ourselves but at the moment we look solid with clarity in and out of possession.

"I think from that it gives us the chance to be creative and even though we weren’t at our most creative today, the points and moments we did have, which were strong in terms of creativity, we were dangerous and that gives us the platform to move forward."