A delighted Lee Johnson spoke to the press after seeing his side progress to the Area Semi Final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy following a dramatic late win against York City.
Adam Hammill produced a moment of magic with six minutes to go on his second debut for the club, by curling an effort into the top corner, and Johnson gave his thoughts.
“It feels like pure relief,” said Johnson. “I’m chuffed for the players, a lot of stick has been flying around and rightly so.
“To go 1-0 down completely against the run of play from a worldie was a devastating blow, but we were playing well. To come back and put in that performance - I’m delighted.”
After taking the lead with such a short time to go, the Reds still looked like the most likely to score and Johnson explained why, as well as giving his thoughts on returning hero Adam Hammill.
“I was confident in my back four.” Explained Johnson. “I brought some energy on up-front which stopped them going forward as much. Adam Hammill was on his last legs but boy was he fantastic today. For somebody who hasn’t had a pre-season he was amazing.
“He’s (Hammill) learnt his lesson in football and he now wants to be a role model to the younger players. He took that on today. I couldn’t take him off as he was always liable to stick one in the top corner and he did, even though he’d lost his legs after 50 minutes or so.”
After a recent string of injuries, the Reds Head Coach went through the returning players and gave updates on the ones returning.
“Lloyd Isgrove was excellent.” Continued Johnson. “Conor Hourihane is nursing an injury but he was nice controlled and neat. Ivan Toney was a real threat first half, he faded a little bit second half but you expect that.
“Sam Winnall came on and was fresh. We’ve now got Michael Smith back, Marley Watkins back and Conor Wilkinson back as well as Ryan Williams at some point too. Unfortunately we’ve lost Josh Scowen for ten to 12 weeks, so that will be a big loss for us as he’s a big player for us.”
The Reds have now progressed into the area Semi Final of the JPT and Johnson said he wants to make it to Wembley.
“I’d love to deliver and lead this team out in front of 40,000 Barnsley fans at Wembley. The dream is still alive and the boys have mentioned it as well, when it’s coming from them I like it.
“We all needed that win and we got it. Well done to everyone. Apologies for the poor run but we’ve got enough if we stick together. We’ll pull out of trouble and rise up the league, the fans were also really good tonight, and Adam (Hammill) was a catalyst in that as the fans were excited to see him.”