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We Can Breathe Again Now - Johnson

Lee Johnson hopes City’s first victory in nine games will allow them to play with more freedom at the City Ground tomorrow (3pm).

Johnson admits it has been a tough period for him and his players, who finally returned to winning ways in the Emirates FA Cup third round replay at Fleetwood Town on Tuesday night.

The head coach is optimistic City will now head to Nottingham Forest with a spring in their step as they look to arrest a sequence of seven straight Sky Bet Championship defeats.

“It’s definitely relieved that feeling of ‘when’s it going to happen?’” he told Bristol City Player HD.

“I’ve had that myself as a player and a manager – it’s frustrating because you don’t feel whole again until you get that win.

“The players were very enthused and relieved. We can breathe again now, and hopefully the players can go and play with five per cent more freedom in this game.

“Hopefully it’s a blessing in disguise that we had the replay.”

Having gone 57 years without tasting victory at the City Ground prior to 2012, City have won on two of their last three visits.

“I’m looking forward to it; it’s always a great place to go,” Johnson added.

“We’ve had some decent results there and I’m sure our travelling contingent will be up for it.

“It’s a big game for us. We have to make sure that, after a great win at Fleetwood, we continue that philosophy of play and attitude, because that’s what I thought was fantastic on Tuesday night.”

Johnson revealed Mark Little was substituted at Highbury Stadium in midweek as a precaution after complaining of a tight hamstring, but is hopeful the defender will be fit to play in the East Midlands.

Elsewhere, Adam Matthews (seven to ten days) and Korey Smith (six to eight weeks) remain sidelined.

City supporters can pay on the day at Forest. Visit the Away Tickets section for more information.