Sunday, February 7th, 2016
Steve Lansdown says he welcomes Lee Johnson back to Ashton Gate "with open arms" and hopes Bristol City fans will do likewise for the new head coach.
The 34-year-old has agreed a three-and-half-year contract to lead the club for whom he made 199 appearances between 2006 and 2012.
Lansdown sat alongside Johnson and chief operating officer Mark Ashton at the Valley as City, under the interim management of John Pemberton and Wade Elliott for the final time, defeated Charlton Athletic to climb three points clear of the drop zone.
"It's great that we've got him on board because having someone of his pedigree is what Bristol City needs," Lansdown told Bristol City Player HD.
"Lee will bring a freshness of ideas, enthusiasm and great ability.
"If you look at Lee's record since he's taken up management, he's had a great record.
"He got Oldham out of trouble, he did the same at Barnsley, and now leaves them battling for promotion and with a Wembley final to look forward to.
"There's no reason why our fans shouldn't get behind him. I wondered what sort of reception he'd get today and it was great to hear them singing his song now (Johnson says bounce around the ground).
"The fact he's willing to leave a promotion race and Wembley final behind says everything about his desire for Bristol City and we should all welcome him with open arms to the football club."
Lansdown revealed to Bristol City Player HD that he has previously been a reference on Johnson's CV, when at the age of 31 he took over at Oldham Athletic to become the Football League's youngest boss.
He added: "Lee is outstanding and I don't quite think people realise how sought-after he is. We've got him and that's great.
"Coming into Bristol City, with us at the wrong end of the table, may not have seemed like the right time for him, but he thinks it is. Lee is ready for that challenge and it's something he's done before.
"We're confident with the team he's got working behind him that he'll add that extra spice to get us up the table."
City took 23 days to find Steve Cotterill's successor and Lansdown commented: "A lot of thought went into the decision. When Steve left we had a lot to think about.
"We went through all options, [including] whether we made an internal appointment, and it has to be said that John Pemberton and Wade Elliott have done extremely well in getting us out of the bottom three. We looked at established names. We looked at other up and coming coaches.
"We've built the club up now and we have an infrastructure where you don't have to change a whole host of people in the system when a new person comes in.
"I know Lee well, Keith Dawe knows him well and Bristol City knows him very well. Everyone can't wait to start working with him."