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Dave Barton

Dave Barton writes

Posted Tuesday, January 1st 2019

The Inside Line: Post-Stoke City (A)

Here are four observations from Head Coach Lee Johnson.

Niki Mäenpää
"You need big saves from your goalkeeper but it’s not just the big saves, it’s the way Niki can relieve pressure for us. When (Peter) Crouch came on he plucked two out of the air above the crossbar and set us off for counter-attacks. He is really hungry to play, he has been a long time in the wilderness. It’s difficult being a goalkeeper with that one position. You can earn good money but often never get to play a game but he is relishing and thriving on the fact that he has been waiting for so long to get a run of games like he has got with us."

 

Niki Mäenpää drew praise from Head Coach Lee Johnson
Famara Diedhiou and his team-mates copied the Ramario baby cradling scene from the 1994 World Cup

Famara Diédhiou's rocking the new baby
"Fam was very happy. His wife had a baby boy two days ago. We sent him a GIF of Ramario and Bebeto of the baby cradling for Brazil. I thought that might to plant that seed in his head to get the goal. Whether that had anything to do with it I don’t know but I think he is the best in the league at getting across people and punching those headers in."

Adam Webster and Marlon Pack head clash
"It’s a lesson for Webby. He is a top player but he has got to talk and talk earlier. He had three or four stitches in the top of the head. He looked like he was on Fright Night but he’ll be alright He’s too good looking to be a centre-half – we’ve got to make him a bit uglier!"

Marlon Pack clashed heads with Adam Webster as they went for a header
Bailey Wright played a crucial leadership role against Stoke City

Bailey Wright
"Bails is fantastic. Last season he played through the pain barrier for the cause. It cost him his World Cup place. He should have had an operation earlier but he refused it because we were in the play-off hunt and the cup games. The operation has taken a while to get him set but now he is and if you want a character to go on in a game like that, under those circumstances, then you can’t get a better one than Bailey Wright."

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