John­son: Let’s go for it at Rovers

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Richard Latham

LEE John­son vowed to be pos­i­tive in to­mor­row’s Cham­pi­onship rel­e­ga­tion show­down at Black­burn af­ter see­ing his City side climb to 18th place.

First-half goals from Mar­lon Pack and Jamie Pater­son eased fears of the drop and left Rangers one of sev­eral clubs look­ing over their shoul­ders as the bat­tle for survival reaches its cli­max.

A stop­page-time con­so­la­tion goal from Idrissa Sylla did noth­ing to im­prove QPR boss Ian Hol­loway’s mood af­ter the game.

But John­son was all smiles as he pledged to at­tack, say­ing: “We will go to Black­burn to win the game, even though a draw would be a de­cent out­come for us.

“I am not say­ing we will go gung-ho, but I know my play­ers and I have a good feel­ing about where they are at the mo­ment.

“We need to take our home form into an away match, but the at­ti­tude was bril­liant and the lads are buzzing.

“They won the bat­tles and that made us de­serv­ing win­ners. Frank Field­ing has made one re­ally timely save, but I thought the de­fend­ers in front of him were fan­tas­tic.

“Noth­ing is set­tled yet and Mon­day’s game will be mas­sive. But a lot of other clubs are now in­volved in the fight to stay up.”

City took a 14thminute lead when Pack latched onto a Matty Tay­lor knock-down and lashed in a right-footed vol­ley from 15 yards.

The hosts were the bet­ter side from the outset and dou­bled their ad­van­tage five min­utes be­fore the in­ter­val, Pater­son rac­ing onto a Tay­lor pass to shoot past the ad­vanc­ing Alex Smithies.

Although Rangers im­proved af­ter the break, it wasn’t un­til the fi­nal minute of in­jury time that sub­sti­tute Sylla shot home from a cross by fel­low re­place­ment Conor Washington.

Hol­loway, who had to en­dure con­stant bait­ing from City fans as an ex-Bris­tol Rovers player and man­ager, was in­con­solable.

“How do you de­fend the in­de­fen­si­ble,” he said. “I like my teams to rep­re­sent my char­ac­ter and I have never gone down with a whim­per in my life.

“City didn’t even have to work for their goals. And some of the things I saw from my team in the sec­ond half were in­ex­pli­ca­ble.

“When you are 2-0 down and win a free­kick, surely you race to take it as quickly as pos­si­ble. Twice we al­lowed City play­ers to pick the ball up and walk back­wards with it.

“One got booked and the other didn’t, but where was the fight from my play­ers?”

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