Johnson de­mands ‘heart and spirit’ from his team

Western Daily Press (Saturday) - - Football -

BRIS­TOL City head coach Lee Johnson has called on his play­ers to demon­strate their “heart and spirit” in their Sky Bet Cham­pi­onship game at Birm­ing­ham this af­ter­noon.

Johnson be­lieves it was that kind of dis­play which helped them over­come lowly Ip­swich Town in their last away game.

The City chief strongly be­lieves his side can get the three points at St An­drew’s this af­ter­noon.

“Our away per­for­mances have been de­cent,” Johnson told the of­fi­cial Bris­tol City web­site. “The Ip­swich game was full of heart and spirit and it will need to be a sim­i­lar ef­fort in this one to get the three points. We’re al­ways bright, we love the chal­lenge of the Cham­pi­onship. We thrive off that, it’s four points from two games, and we want that to be seven from three.”

Gary Monk’s side have not lost at home all sea­son, but City are set­ting them­selves up to change all that.

“They have won a cou­ple and lost a cou­ple,” said Johnson, re­flect­ing on the Blues’ re­cent form. “They were on the back of a good run and there isn’t a lot of ex­pec­ta­tion on them this year, but they have a strong side, look­ing at the in­di­vid­u­als and the money spent.

“They have kept con­sis­tency with team se­lec­tion and that has proved strong for them.

“They haven’t picked up many in­juries, their home record is good and it’s a chal­lenge for us to go and dis­rupt that.

“We’ll go there to play our game and it will be an­other good, com­pet­i­tive Cham­pi­onship game full of phys­i­cal chal­lenges from two teams who can play as well.”

City, mean­while, look set to have to deal with the threat of Span­ish winger Jota this af­ter­noon.

Re­ports sug­gest the winger, who has al­ready scored five goals this sea­son, is avail­able for the clash with the Robins.

If Jota does play, it will be his first ap­pear­ance in three weeks af­ter pick­ing up a groin/pelvic in­jury.

Monk said: “Jota has been back out train­ing this week and will be ready and avail­able for se­lec­tion.”

JMP/Ro­gan Thomson

Bris­tol City head coach Lee Johnson cel­e­brates fol­low­ing last month’s vic­tory atIp­swich

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