April 23 2014 Latest news:
Sunday, December 15, 2013
Beauty and the beast? Not quite. But Norwich City and Swansea clashed on Sunday in the way that has become customary in recent seasons – and as far as Bradley Johnson is concerned, it is always fun.
“The way Swansea play, it’s pretty,” said Johnson. “You could say we don’t play pretty, but we get results. And since I’ve been here I have enjoyed playing against Swansea.
“We haven’t lost against them since I’ve been here and we had a great away performance there last year.
“They are a good team and we know how to play against them and get in their faces. They will enjoy most of the possession – that’s how they play. But at the end of the day, it’s the result that matters and I think we’ve beaten them more than they’ve beaten us. It’s always a good game and I enjoy playing against them, and they probably enjoy playing against us.”
City have indeed beaten Swansea more times than their Welsh opponents have returned the favour in recent times – but for once Johnson felt City didn’t get the rub of the green, as Chris Hughton’s men tried to force the issue after the break.
That was possibly the penalty for handing their visitors the initiative after just 12 minutes – and through a goal that wouldn’t earn many marks for its defensive resistance.
“I think the first five or 10 minutes we had a few chances,” said Johnson. “We knew they would come here and pass it. That’s in their blood.
“It looked like we were on top and the way we conceded, we let our heads drop for about 10 to 20 minutes. It was very frustrating, the manner we conceded. One long ball and the smallest player on the pitch won the header and got on his own flick.
“But we are a team. We lose together and win together. There’s no blaming each other.
“We just had to get our heads down and stick together.
“Gary (Hooper) got a terrific goal just before half-time and that was a great time for us.
“So we came out in the second half with that belief we would go on to win the game, and I thought we were unlucky not to do that.”
Johnson was only too happy to join in the praise for Hooper, whose volleyed equaliser deserved to grace the Premier League – as well as earn at least a point. Add to that the fact City’s number 11 made it four goals in six games, and Johnson was happy to acknowledge the huge benefit in having a man like Hooper to rely on.
“It was a great goal, and that’s what he brings to the team,” said Johnson. “He’s a great striker and a proven goalscorer.
“If you give him a chance he’s going to put it away and he was unlucky not to get the second today.
“It’s always going to be tricky when you come to a club and get injured at the start of the season. He’s worked hard to get his way back into the team.
“But we know what he’s about and we know if he gets chances, he’s going to score – and he’s been proving that in the last few games.
“It’s great knowing that. He’s a natural goalscorer and to have him in your team is a great confidence boost.”