LEE: VICTORY IS TONIC FOR DAD GARY
LEE Johnson insists he knew an all-star showing from Bristol City was just around the corner, after his struggling side gave his recovering father a boost and put a huge dent in Huddersfield’s automatic promotion hopes.
Tammy Abraham’s 22nd goal of the season doubled the Robins’ advantage during an astonishing 14 minutes of firsthalf injury-time – with a neck injury to Town’s Jonathan Hogg causing a significant delay – after Lee Tomlin rounded Danny Ward to put them ahead.
And it only got worse for the Terriers after the break, with Aden Flint expertly flicking home a third, before Joe Bryan was fouled in the box and David Cotterill’s penalty put gloss on the 4-0 win.
It was a result that will send shockwaves up the Championship table, but Johnson is hoping it can have a galvanising effect on father Gary as well – with the Cheltenham Town boss undergoing triple heart bypass surgery on Thursday.
“The win will be a good tonic for Dad,” he said. “I’d like to thank everyone from the football world for the messages. He’s OK, the vital signs are good and, hopefully, he will continue his progression.
“I genuinely felt this coming. I know my team, I know my players and I know when everyone is fit and at it – we got that here.
“Everybody in football would’ve had that as an away win. Cheltenham has been on and if you’d looked at the betting, you’d have given us no chance in a two-horse race, but I knew. I thought we were strong, we hustled and we turned them at the right times. We got the ball into our forward players early.
“I’m really chuffed for the lads. It’s great to get two wins on the spin and send the fans home happy because they’ve been a bit frustrated in recent times.
“We’re not out of the woods yet but it was good to get some goal difference back as well – it might go to the wire and we’re going to need another three or four wins as a minimum.”
It was the first time since October 1 that Johnson’s side have recorded back-to-back wins, but it was very much a night to forget for Huddersfield and boss David Wagner.
Hogg’s serious injury aside – that saw him treated for 14 minutes on the pitch after colliding with team-mate Mark Hudson before being taken off on a stretcher – the visitors forced just one save from Frank Fielding in the prolonged first half, and Wagner is demanding a reaction from his side over the international break.
He said: “A night like this shouldn’t happen but it does, but what is important is how we react and respond. Maybe it started the day before when Jon Gorenc Stankovic was ill – then this morning when Michael Hefele was sick.
“These problems were all out of our control and I think a lot of the game went against us as well.
“The situation with Jonathan Hogg was hard to take but I am not making excuses for the performance – I am not happy.
“We were not at our best and under-performed in every position while Bristol City were very strong.
“We now need to use the international break to refresh and respond to this result. We are in a very good position with nine games to go and we have been through too much together as a group for me to question my players on one result.”
STARTER: Lee Tomlin goes around Huddersfield keeper Danny Ward before scoring the first goal, inset