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Johnson Wary Of Dangerous Derby

Lee Johnson will not be taking goal-shy Derby County lightly at Ashton Gate tomorrow (3pm).

The Rams were among the pre-season promotion favourites but have struggled to find their shooting boots so far, scoring only once in their seven league games to date.

Johnson is convinced their fortunes will soon turn, and is expecting a stern test from Nigel Pearson’s team in BS3.

“I expect them to be a good side – they’ve got good players, even though their form hasn’t been amazing,” the head coach told Bristol City Player HD.

“I just watched their last game (a 1-0 home defeat to Ipswich Town on Tuesday) and they completely bossed it – by no stretch of the imagination is this going to be anything but a really tough game.

“I’m sure it will turn for them, but we need that clean sheet. We just have to go and play the game – the past is the past, we’re moving forward and so will they.

“I’m really looking forward to it. It’s nice to come back to Ashton Gate after a couple of games away, and we want to bring that feel-good factor back.

“I think it’ll be a good game to watch. There will be a lot of good footballers on the pitch, so no doubt it’ll be end to end.”

Johnson will be without experienced skipper Gary O’Neil, but believes Korey Smith is ready to step in – if called upon – after making his comeback as a substitute at Sheffield Wednesday in midweek.

“It’s a big loss because I think at the moment his leadership skills are clear for everyone to see,” the boss added.

“But it’s an opportunity for someone else. I thought Josh Brownhill was superb (at Hillsborough), Marlon Pack was good and Bobby Reid has been playing well.

“Midfield-wise we’ve also got Joe Bryan who can play in there and we’ve got Korey Smith – maybe he needs to be chucked in from the start as the best way to force him to get some minutes.

“We’ve got to think about the 46-game picture, not the one-game picture.”

Youngsters will be able to attend City’s home clash with Derby for just £1. To secure your seat and take advantage, call 0117 963 0600 or buy online.