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Williams hails defensive efforts

Ashley Williams says it “wasn’t through a lack of effort” that City lost against Sheffield Wednesday and praised the way they kept the Owls at bay for so long.

Barry Bannan converted an 84th minute penalty to strike the decisive goal in the Sky Bet Championship encounter at Hillsborough, while City couldn’t threaten enough in the final third to force an equaliser.

The best moments for the Robins came after just 20 seconds when Callum O’Dowda dragged a shot narrowly wide, with Jack Hunt forcing a header off the line in the second half.

“I’m disappointed obviously to lose the game,” defender Williams said.

“I thought we defended well as a team, for 80 minutes. I didn’t have a good view of the (penalty) decision but it looked harsh for me. But that’s what decided it really, we know we can play better in possession. We wanted the clean sheet, we wanted to put a good defensive performance in which really we did and we’ve come away with nothing.

“With the quality we have in our team and with the subs we need to be creating more chances. We can name a couple of chances, Callum’s was unlucky but in possession that was disappointing today, at least for me. We didn’t play, especially in the final third. In their half we have a lot more quality than we showed today.

“It’s a disappointed dressing room. Fans paid a lot of money and travelled a long way with nothing to cheer about before Christmas.”

City may have lost three games in a row now and they have the chance to put things right back on the road against Charlton Athletic on Boxing Day.

He said: “That’s three losses on the bounce which we’re not happy about. We feel we want to be a better team than that, we don’t want to continue this run and the good thing is we have another opportunity on Boxing Day.

“The gaffer (Lee Johnson) isn’t best pleased, neither are we but so is everyone. It wasn’t through a lack of effort today, we stood up to the test against a side doing really well. We defended a lot of balls into the box, Bents (Dan Bentley) made saves and everyone put in a shift defensively and it’s that one moment which has decided it, which is disappointing.”

And Williams’ final message was to the supporters, of which over 350 travelled to Hillsborough on Sunday ahead of Thursday’s trip to Charlton.

“The away fans travel in good numbers,” Williams said. “The Fulham game was unbelievable. So as I say, we’re disappointed, we’re sorry for them today that we couldn’t put some smiles on their faces going back on that long journey.

“We will appreciate the effort from people who come out on Boxing Day when they could be with their families so hopefully we’ll perform well and come away with the three points – that’s the plan.”