Robins’ repetition haunts Lee
LEE Johnson described it as ‘Groundhog Day’ as City slipped to a sixth defeat in seven Championship games.
The young head coach was inconsolable after an 85th minute winner from Daniel Johnson had given Preston the points ahead of their players’ Christmas party in the evening.
Johnson said: “I can only apologise to our fans for our current run of form. We are hurting for them and Christmas is cancelled as far as I am concerned.
“It is like Groundhog Day because the same sequence of events is continually repeating on us.
“In the first 20 minutes some of the football we played was fantastic, but we don’t score and then concede a really poor goal.
“After that players who were performing at eights and nines suddenly dipped to fives and sixes.
“Then we managed to get ourselves back into the game with an equaliser, but still couldn’t see it out.
“I feel like I have run over a black cat because we should have had a first-half penalty.
“Decisions have been going against us recently. But enough is enough and tweaks need to be made.
“We need a couple of signings in the January transfer window to help the group.”
Preston striker Simon Makienok was left unmarked in the centre of goal to volley home Callum Robinson’s right-wing cross on 21 minutes.
City had dominated the opening exchanges and looked set to earn a spot-kick when Tammy Abraham went down under a seventh-minute challenge from Tom Clarke.
The young Chelsea loanee did his best to stay on his feet and referee Simon Hooper waved play on.
Preston took control after Makienok’s goal and could have been further in front by the break, Robinson hitting the crossbar when he should have scored.
But Abraham also struck the woodwork in the second half and it seemed City would take at least a point when substitute Aaron Wilbraham rose at the far post to head in an Adam Matthews cross 12 minutes from time.
Johnson had other ideas, making room for a shot from a narrow angle on the right of the six-yard box, which appeared to take a deflection.
Young City keeper Ivan Lucic anticipated a cross and was beaten on his near post.
Preston boss Simon Grayson said: “We have had a good week, with seven points from nine available and two good away performances.
“Bristol City came out of the traps fast and we had to weather the storm. We were under the cosh, but we got through it and the first goal was always going to be important.
“It was a great ball in from Callum Robinson and an excellent finish by Simon Makienok. After that I felt we looked comfortable until they equalised.
“A lot of character was shown to win the game from then on. We had better chances than our winning goal.
“I’m not sure how the ball went in, but I’m delighted for the fans and the result keeps us moving forward.
“Christmas always means a quick turnaround of games, but we go into it with momentum.
“We won’t get ahead of ourselves and have some tough matches coming up, but we will enjoy the next few days.”
WINNER: Daniel Johnson celebrates his goal for Preston