Johnson - We Still Have A Shot At Manchester City
Bristol City manager Lee Johnson couldn't have been more proud of the side following their efforts in a narrow and largely unfortunate two one loss to Manchester City in last night's EFL Cup semi final first leg.
Heading to the Etihad Stadium for the game, a brave and resolute showing from City saw a Bobby Reid penalty give us the advantage in the 44th minute but with the quality of Pep Guardiola's side and the way they held possession and given the opportunities they created, Kevin De Bruyne did have them level ten minutes after the restart.
A stoppage time goal from Sergio Aguero gave them the win ultimately but Johnson knew it could be a different game on home soil if we repeat that performance.
Speaking to the Official Site as he met with the media, a proud gaffer explained.
'I thought the boys were superb. It`s disappointing to concede late in the manner we did but we`re still in the tie, we have the away goal and the will learn form that. There`s nothing quite like learning in play against teams like that, world-class opposition who we fully respected before the game with our team selection and the boys gave it a great go. Our fans are disappointed but I know there have enjoyed themselves because of the way they sang, the way they stayed in it and the way they clapped the boys off at the end.'
With Pep Guardiola making no secret of his praise for our efforts on the evening, Johnson went on to say.
'He was very complimentary about my players and he said most Premier League teams who have come here haven`t performed as well as we did. He encouraged us to keep playing like that and the Premier League won`t be too far away. Of course he still came out the winner but Ashton Gate will have 27,000 fans and it will be some game. That`s what I am buzzing with, that we are still in the tie and we can take the atmosphere back to Ashton Gate and produce another really big game.'
Looking ahead to the next tie.
'I think the team selection will be important, there are big games coming up for both teams; we have our bread and butter in the Championship and they have UEFA Champions League games coming up. You could feel the frustration from the Manchester City bench when they didn`t score but our boys had to put their bodies on the line. We did play some good football, had a good team ethic, good organisation and I think the learning that will come from that and as we advance and evolve with some new signings, then everybody can be very encouraged for the future and the progression of the football club.'
Reflecting on our opening goal, he also felt that had been 'well deserved' for our efforts across the opening period of the game.
'I was thinking 'oh no, don`t make them angry` but no it was good play before the penalty. Josh Brownhill took the ball from Eliaquim Mangala, we broke and and it was a well-deserved goal. We could have had more earlier shots as well, maybe we took too much time getting our shots off but generally I`m very, very pleased with the players and we have learnt an awful lot tonight.'