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James Crawley


Posted Saturday, October 27th 2018

'We deserved more' – Johnson

Lee Johnson watched his relentless side dominate the second half at home to Stoke City but they were unable to find the all-important breakthrough.

Darren Fletcher’s first-half strike proved the difference in the 1-0 defeat, despite City’s attacking impetus in the second half.

City were thwarted on more than one occasion with Jack Butland in form, while Famara Diédhiou twice rattled the crossbar.

'We improved after the break'

“It is a tough one to take because I thought we were excellent, particularly in the second half,” Johnson said, assessing the match at Ashton Gate.

“In the first half we wasted too many minutes by not being aggressive enough in the press or forward play. You could see in the second half we showed you don’t have to kick the ball long distances to be aggressive in your forward play. It’s about working your feet, working hard to receive, gumption and the desire to be dangerous.

“We had that in abundance after the break, it was a good performance but unfortunately with all the will of the world, we couldn’t push the ball over the line.”

'Areas to improve'

The head coach added: “We should have won this game or at least taken a point. On reflection, we’ve had very good performances, but we weren’t good enough in the first half and that’s where we have got to learn and improve.”

Johnson also heaped praise on young midfielder Liam Walsh, who came on as a half-time substitute against the Potters.

Walsh 'dictated the game'

He said the former Everton Academy player “deserved the chance” and “was superb” adding “his range of passing in a three really suits him and he dictated the game.”

City now have a week to prepare for their trip to Reading, after three games in eight days in the Sky Bet Championship.