Saturday, February 13rd, 2016
Lee Johnson was delighted to see Aden Flint back in the goals as the defender’s brace fired Bristol City to victory over Ipswich Town in the head coach’s first game in charge.
Flint, who scored 15 goals last season, headed home his third and fourth of the current campaign from two Luke Freeman corners in the first half at Ashton Gate.
Former City striker Brett Pitman replied for the Tractor Boys on the hour, but the hosts held on to record their first back-to-back victories of the season – much to the delight of the boss, who hopes to see the goals flow from a variety of sources.
“I thought we showed really good intent to go and win the game,” Johnson told Bristol City Player HD.
“The players worked out some of the patterns that we’ve tried to enforce and encourage over the past four or five days of training, and that led to a lot of set-pieces.
“When we get a lot of set-pieces and the delivery is right, we’ve got some big boys in the box. You need goals from all over the pitch and that’s something we’ll be trying to recruit, whether it’s from our full-backs or centre-halves.
“Flinty said to me before the game that he always scores more in the second half of the season, so it’s a good time to start! He was nice and brave, and nice and positive – they were two fantastic goals.”
A noticeable trait of Johnson’s debut in the dugout was the willingness of Korey Smith – formerly the head coach’s skipper at Oldham Athletic – to get into goalscoring positions.
“We went for it early and tried to attack,” the boss continued. “Our midfielders were getting forward, which was good, and even our full-backs were overlapping and underlapping.
“A big part of our week was to take the shackles off our midfielders. The way I see us playing is for our midfielders to get forward and dovetailing – when one gets forward and one covers.
“We’ve got to make sure the balance is good behind the ball, but I know Korey Smith well and you’re taking a dimension out of his game if you don’t allow him to maraud into the box.”
Johnson had been posed plenty of questions in the week about whether he would need time to win the backing of the City supporters, but was warmly welcomed by the sell-out crowd even before the game kicked off.
“I felt the love and it was good,” he smiled. “Obviously I’ve been around the area and everybody has been really positive and genuine to my face.
“I think they know I’ve got a really strong feeling for this club, and as long as they know that I’m putting every effort and desire into making the club better, we’ve got half a chance. Not for one minute has that been questioned.
“It’s been a really enjoyable day – not just for personally but for the club and the Board, who have stuck their neck on the line and put me in charge. Long may it continue.”