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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Saturday, November 10th 2018

There are no excuses – I can only apologise – Johnson

A disappointed Lee Johnson wants to see more from his players after they lost 1-0 at home to Preston North End.

Johnson said he had full belief in his squad but did not see them hit form in the BS3 encounter.

Callum Robinson tapped in the only goal of the game in the first half, to which City offered little in reply.

Famara Diédhiou had a couple of off-target headers, while Josh Brownhill’s late free kick was tipped away by Preston’s keeper Declan Rudd.

But it was a game which lacked creativity and free-flowing football, with City’s head coach left frustrated.

When asked about Saturday’s performance, Johnson said it was “Not good enough.”

“That sums it up really well. I don’t think enough individuals played at the top of their game and I can only apologise.

“I’m very disappointed, I’m particularly hurt because I think we have got to do more and, more importantly, we have to play our way.

“Credit to Preston because they were dogged and difficult to play against. They have a lot of their best players back fit and they are a good side but we have to do more. Too many players on the day just didn’t hit top form and the buck stops with me.

“We talked a lot about statistics last week but today it was about not being good enough. 

“We are not at home now until December and sometimes that helps because our away form has been pretty good. We can sit off the game a little bit and break. We’re expected to take the ball at home and produce wonderful, flowing football but we are not confident enough at this moment to do that.”

"Too many players on the day just didn’t hit top form and the buck stops with me. We talked a lot about statistics last week but today it was about not being good enough."

Lee Johnson

The result leaves City in the midtable zone, around equal distance between the top six and the drop.

Johnson continued: “We’re 13th in the league. The big picture is we are not a million miles away from where we should be with a new team…we’re still five points off the play-offs and six points off relegation.

“I believe these players can put a run together but today’s performance was not good enough to do that but I’m not going to lose faith in the players who I have signed.”

He concluded: “This week I’m here to help [the players be at their best] because you can give them a kick up the backside but I need to support the players too and make sure they support us as staff. [Now] we turn up for the Leeds game full of fight.”

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