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Club News

Johnson on Yorkshire Derby at Bradford

26 January 2016

Reds Head Coach Lee Johnson spoke to the press ahead of the Reds' midweek trip to Yorkshire rivals Bradford City.

Johnson reflected on a stunning performance against Rochdale at the weekend and gave his thoughts on the challenges his side will face against The Bantams.

“It was a fantastic win against Rochdale, I’m really pleased.” Explained Johnson. “I’m sure it’ll give a couple of notches to the boys' confidence scale, but now we move on. It’s a new game tomorrow, we need to stay consistent, the performances are key and over the last ten games we’ve been consistent in the performances.

“The players never gave up, we’ve signed a couple of new ones which was important for the team and it’s just starting to bind together quite nicely.

“The players have really taken to what we’ve tried to do and at the moment their form is good. We’ll just keep going, we’ve got a tough game away at Bradford and it’s one we’re looking forward to. We want to stay unbeaten in January, which will move us forward into the important JPT second leg.”

Johnson was asked what he thinks of the current Bradford side, as the Reds head to The Coral Windows Stadium for their second competitive match there this season, after the previous JPT success.

Johnson said, “I see a typical strong Phil Parkinson side. I watched their games vs Oldham and Port Vale on DVD, they’re a strong unit and well organised. They are quite direct in their play but very effective.

“We do feel we’ve got a bunch of forward players that can excite and cause other teams problems. We need to disrupt their organised back four and make sure their forwards don’t disrupt us.”

With Sam Winnall having scored eight goals in his last four games, Johnson said how important it is to have a striker in form.

“To score goals is the hardest thing in football and he’s certainly in a rich vein of form.” Johnson Explained. “He’s flourishing from the quality that’s coming into the box. Marley Watkins acts as a foil for him physically and the running he does to creates space for Sam, and if he gets space he’ll finish. He can score all types of goals though which is important.”

Adam Hammill left the game early on Saturday due to injury and Johnson gave an update on him, as well as the fitness of Josh Scowen after he returned from injury in the match against Rochdale.

“No news on Adam Hammill yet.” He said. “We’ll have to decide whether to get a scan, or to throw him on and see how he gets on. We’ll have to see is the honest answer.”

“He’s a great lad to have around (Josh Scowen), he’s liked by everyone and it’s good to have him back. I felt I could give him 15 minutes and it was nice for him to get that ovation from the Oakwell faithful.

“It would be nice if we can keep this group together and fit till the end of the season, then there’s a chance of a win or draw in most games.

“James Bree has been great since he came in. He’s a real top class genuine talent, especially given his age. You have to be careful not to chuck them in at the wrong time, and it’s something you have to be strong about.
 
“He wasn’t ready earlier in the season. He’s young and will make mistakes, but we need to allow him to do that and make sure he doesn’t make the mistakes twice.”

After such a convincing win against Rochdale, Johnson was asked how his side moves forward from that.

“I think the challenge is not to be a prisoner of your past.” Johnson explained. “Whatever happened Saturday is in the past, so we need to make sure we recognise what’s been good, but you can’t smash six in every game. We felt that was coming though, we’ve consistently had good chances in games, but that’s only come from everyone doing their jobs.”

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