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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Tuesday, February 26th 2019

Johnson calls for repeat performance levels

City have no reason to stop believing in themselves as they look to put the weekend’s defeat behind them.

Such is the quick turnaround at this stage of the season, that City face Birmingham City at Ashton Gate just three days after their trip to Carrow Road.

Despite strikes from Jamie Paterson and Callum O’Dowda, they were pegged back before the league leaders Norwich City forced a winner.

“I think our performance level was pretty good through the game against Norwich and I expect similar again [against Birmingham City],” Lee Johnson said.

“Birmingham are a good side, they have different attributes compared to Norwich but all games at this level are intense, hectic and challenging. The boys shouldn’t lose confidence from a defeat when so many elements of their performance were good.”

The result was only City’s first defeat in 14 Sky Bet Championship fixtures but the post-match analysis remained the same as they look for a better outcome under the lights in BS3 on Tuesday (February 26th, 7.45pm KO).

Attentions now turn to what Johnson describes as a “blood and thunder Championship” encounter, with both teams pushing for a strong end to the campaign.

The City head coach continued: “We do our review consistently and we pick out the good, the bad and the ugly. There was so much good, very little ugly but their quality capitalised on our mistakes. For this game against Birmingham, the players should be confident with the way we play and concentrate on executing those individual actions.

“Intensity is increased by the external. I think internally you put yourself under pressure to perform and our strength this season has been our depth and consistency. We’re looking to continue achieving that and as I have said before I enjoy the improvement in the performance.

“It will be a real blood and thunder Championship game. They are strong in the duels, they lull you into a false sense of security and can sting you with the quality which they have. The challenge is to make sure our players, while bold and creative in the attacks, always have one eye on the talent which Birmingham have.”

While Johnson will serve a one-game touchline ban after receiving four yellow cards this season, matchday will remain business as usual with Dean Holden and Jamie McAllister managing from the dugout.

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