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Dave Barton

Dave Barton writes

Posted Sunday, January 20th 2019

The Inside Line: Post-Nottingham Forest away

Catch the talking points from Head Coach Lee Johnson.

Relishing the occasion
“We had to embrace the occasion (Martin O'Neill's return as manager). We would be foolish not to understand that we had to deal with an environment that was different from the one if we had played Forest a couple of weeks ago. I was delighted with the professional manner that we went about the performance. In the first 20 minutes we rode out what could have been The Alamo through our attacking play and had a couple of chances on the counter we maybe could have done better with but generally we showed good energy and athleticism.”

City relished the occasion of Martin O'Neill's return with 1,500 travelling fans in full voice
Frank Fielding pulled off several important saves

Defence and Frank Fielding
“Credit to the boys at the back especially in the second half and Frankie. He has been out for a while and he has made two big saves at important times of the game and we defended eight or nine corners very well.”

Sub power
“I always knew with our athleticism and fitness that, as time went on, and with the subs that we have got and the strength in depth in attacking areas, that we could cause Nottingham Forest a problem as the game got stretched and that was certain the case when Kasey Palmer came on. It gave us some ignition and attacking intent, he got the ball, wriggled and great little slidey ball to Weimann, who probably should have shot, but squared it lovely for a six-yard tap in for Fam.”

Kasey Palmer made an impact off the bench
Eros Pisano was one of four changes to the starting XI

Strength in depth
“We talked about having strength in depth and this game is a classic example of having eight players for four positions. Webster (ankle), Hunt (calf) and Mäenpää (calf) were out but Frankie Fielding, Eros Pisano and Nathan Baker came in - and they would get in most other teams in the Championship. Credit to the sports science team because Eros has been out for a bit and Frankie has played for six or seven months and both were excellent today.”

Callum O’Dowda
“First and foremost Callum is a fantastic human being and it’s important we set that type of culture at the football club. We knew about his potential at Oxford and given him the vehicle to grow and the work put into him behind the scenes. He has probably put four or five kilos of muscle mass on since he signed so it’s not just technical, it’s physical as well as tactical. He is a good student and he is a consistent part of the Ireland starting squad, and rightly so, and we want to keep him as long as we can. You saw his athleticism and calmness and composure on the ball today. He still has things to improve on – goals and assists – but certainly that raw potential is there for him to go and play at the very top level.”

Callum O'Dowda turned in another impressive display

Watch: Lee Johnson post-Nottingham Forest reaction

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