Johnson Expecting Aggressive Sevenside Clash
Bristol City manager Lee Johnson has said he's expecting a tough and aggressive Sevenside derby against Cardiff City this weekend.
Bristol City head to the Cardiff City Stadium this weekend to face off against Neil Warnock's side and I'm not sure Johnson needed to point out 'tough and aggressive' as any Warnock side seems to have the Plan A of kick everything and get the ball when you can.
Speaking to the Official Site as he met with the media for his pre game press conference, Johnson knew we had to match the battle and do the ugly side of the game to good effect if we were to let our quality sink in during moments that counted.
'It`s been a fantastic season for them, there`s no doubting that. Neil Warnock has gone there after they were relegation fodder at one point. He`s turned them into genuine promotion candidates. We know it will be a good, tough derby, it will be an aggressive game too. We won`t have as many fans down there as we would have liked so there`s even more emphasis on our fans making the noise to help the boys on the pitch. I think they will be very functional, organised and they have a lot of physical players in their team. They make you defend all over the pitch.'
Johnson went on to say that obviously it would be a difficult game given the nature of it, and he was expecting a less than troublesome atmosphere but the players simply had to rise to that and show what they are capable of.
'It`s a difficult game but I don`t think the atmosphere will not be too intimidating because it`s a big stadium which, surprisingly, has had a few empty seats, despite their unbelievable season. That`s where it's been a good part for Bristol City this year, the way the fans have shown how much they enjoy the way the lads have played and we hope to continue that mould and get a good win at Cardiff.'
He went on to add.
'You have to be ready for the battle, whatever your game is. I wasn`t a massive tackler, but I took a lot of responsibility to get the team ticking. Whatever your individual attributes are, the reason you are picked to play is because you can bring the best of it out in that environment, particularly a derby environment because it means so much to the fans and it means so much to me as well.'
With Bobby Reid rocketing to the top of our scoring charts this year, with 16 goals to his name so far this campaign, Johnson was obviously delighted with his form and long may it continue.
'I`m delighted for him, yes. It`s funny how we pigeon-hole players in the fact we took an educated-punt in moving Bobby`s position and he`s taken to it so well. It`s great to see him up there with the top scorers in the division.'
Bailey Wright was also in front of the press, and he spoke about the side being confident going into the game.
'Results have been okay for us but the annoying thing for us is we have reached half time in these games and not seen the job out. That's football, it happens but the game against Fulham was more like us, we played with our identity and energy. It ticked the boxes of what makes us play well. It was good, there were plenty of positives, the lads enjoyed it and the atmosphere was good. In the second half we almost won the game but we take confidence from that game into Sunday against Cardiff City.'
With Wright missing the last derby through suspension, he was obviously looking forward to playing his part in this one.
'I was frustrated to miss the last one so I get to be a part of this one on Sunday. We will saviour being a part of derby games. It's two teams who are having good seasons at the top end of the Championship. It will be a competitive game but I am confident we can go there and do what it takes. I expect them to be physical, well-organised and direct. We've played Neil Warnock teams before and he likes them to be organised, disciplined and we have to be on top of our game. We need to be solid, compact and play our game so we're looking forward to what will be a good test.'