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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Tuesday, January 1st 2019

'We worked our socks off' - Johnson

Lee Johnson has spoken of his pride for the team after their resilient display to overcome Stoke City at bet365 Stadium on New Year’s Day.

After Niki Mäenpää’s penalty save, a seventh goal of the season for Famara Diédhiou and Callum O’Dowda’s rifled effort late on secured the 2-0 win - City’s first away victory on January 1st since 1903.

Head Coach Johnson discussed how his team got the balance right between defence and attack, his “hardworking” players and Bailey Wright’s influence following his return.

On team performance

"It was brilliant from Niki and the attitude and character he showed to save that. We had to really ride the storm. It was a big performance from everybody today and once we got our men back (after Adam Webster needed stitches in a head wound) we worked our socks off, we countered well.

"It was a bit scrappy in the first half in possession, but we still countered and we were brave everywhere."

Praise for the fans

"Lloyd Kelly against Ince was outstanding and there were a lot of hardworking performances. It’s always difficult coming somewhere like this but we were buoyed by the fans who were in fantastic voice. I’m very proud of the team."

On Niki Mäenpää’s display

"His saves were equally crucial. You need your goalkeeper to make big saves. There some big crosses which he claimed too and he brought the quality to relieve some of the pressure quite well.

"The lads are buzzing in there after what has been a really good festive period in terms of the points haul and our fans deserved that win as much as the players do."

Diédhiou scoring after the birth of his son

"I was trying to plant the seed. I didn’t see his celebration but I sent him a GIF of Romario who did the baby celebration with Brazil. When he’s got the feeling of joy he can be a real handful and today he was almost super-human and he’s set his mark on that work rate and goalscoring."

On Bailey’s return

"It was a big, long injury he had. We’ve always known him as a warrior and we felt sorry for him last year because he was trying to stick in for us but it cost him his World Cup place. He should have had his operation earlier but it shows how committed he is to Bristol City.

"He's come on like he’s never been away and now we have such a fantastic strength of depth in that centre-half position."