Saturday, October 1st, 2016
Lee Johnson hailed City’s ability to extend their winning streak without hitting top gear against Nottingham Forest at Ashton Gate.
Johnson’s men have now won four successive matches in all competitions and climbed up to fourth in the Sky Bet Championship table ahead of the two-week international break.
Having fallen behind to Apostolos Vellios’ first-half opener, City responded with two goals in four minutes through Tammy Abraham and ex-Forest man Jamie Paterson midway through the second period.
It was Johnson’s double change at half-time, introducing experienced duo Gary O’Neil and Aaron Wilbraham for Taylor Moore and Marlon Pack, that helped the tide in City’s favour.
“We showed a lot of endeavour in the first half without any real quality,” the head coach told Bristol City Player HD.
“It was quite an inexperienced first-half group but they ran their socks off and that probably helped us in the long run, because of the pressing and shutting down to fatigue Forest a little bit.
“It was nothing to do with Taylor Moore or Marlon Pack’s performance, I just felt at half-time we needed a bit more assuredness.
“We needed to go for it and get as many attacking players on as we could. We went a bit more direct and I thought we were fantastic in the second half.
“We kept pushing them back, we used Alby (Wilbraham) as a wall and we had the structure that Gary O’Neil gives you.
“I was delighted to get a win in a performance that wasn’t one of our best. But if you’re not playing that well and still getting results, that’s a good sign.”
The tactical switch at the interval paved the way for Josh Brownhill to move from central midfield to right-back – a position the 20-year-old had never previously played in his short career to date.
“Josh Brownhill is so frustrated that the home fans haven’t really seen what he’s about yet, even though the away fans have, but you can trust him with your life,” Johnson added.
“He’ll tackle, he’ll put his head in and he’s technically decent. I wanted to keep him on the pitch because I wanted our attacking players out there.
“It was a case of throwing caution to the wind and we did that – not to an extreme, but sensibly.
“Jamie Paterson would’ve been a touch leggy given the games he’s had after not having a great pre-season with a couple of injuries, but he’s a class act.
“It’s written in the stars sometimes to score against your old club and it was a really good goal.”