Norwich City’s Bradley Johnson undaunted by trip to Premier League leaders Chelsea

Bradley Johnson celebrates Grant Holt's equaliser at Stamford Bridge last season. Chelsea needed two late goals to win 3-1 and Johnson believes City can make life difficult for the Blues again. Bradley Johnson celebrates Grant Holt's equaliser at Stamford Bridge last season. Chelsea needed two late goals to win 3-1 and Johnson believes City can make life difficult for the Blues again.

Saturday, October 6, 2012
8:30 AM

Midfielder Bradley Johnson reckons Norwich City are undaunted by the prospect of taking on Premier League leaders Chelsea today, insisting: “It’s only 11 human beings.”

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The fact that those human beings are also the reigning European champions and FA Cup holders makes it one of the Canaries’ toughest outings of a season that has begun poorly with just three points from the first six league games.

But Johnson, who was in the City side beaten 3-1 at Chelsea early last season, finally sunk by two goals in the last eight minutes, believes they can give London’s top club another difficult afternoon at Stamford Bridge (3pm). He said Norwich’s last two performances at Tottenham, where they earned a 1-1 draw last month, and the six-goal thriller at Arsenal at the end of last season showed they could handle big occasions in the capital.

“Yes, Chelsea are a big team, European champions and for us to go there and test ourselves against them, it’s great to be there,” he said.

“We’ve all worked hard to get in this league and play against the best players in the world. To be testing ourselves against them is what everyone wants to do. At Arsenal last season we did well and at Tottenham this season, and we can do it again at Chelsea.

“Everywhere we go we’re written off but we don’t look at that. We go into every game wanting to win. It’s only 11 human beings on the pitch, and we’re the same as them.

“We just have to stick together and work hard and anything can happen.

“Chelsea have some great players and if we can keep those great players quiet we’ve got every chance of pulling off a result there.”

As for whether it was a bad time for City – beaten 5-2 at home by Liverpool last week – to face Roberto di Matteo’s team, Johnson said: “You can take it either way. We’re going to go there with confidence that we’re going to win the game.

“We went there last year and went down to 10 men, which was unfortunate for us and gave them the win.

“But we’re not going there thinking we’re going to lose. We haven’t spent any time on the training pitch concentrating on them.

“It’s the things we have to do – be ugly, hard to play against and get in their faces.

“We’ve earned the right to be there so we don’t look at them in the tunnel and think we’re coming up against big teams.

“They’re 11 players on the pitch, we’re 11 players and we’ve just got to do the best we can to beat them.”

Central midfield pair Johnson, 25, and former Leeds team-mate Jonny Howson have started all six of City’s Premier League games so far, but they know other players are knocking on the door, with David Fox and new arrivals Alex Tettey and Jacon Butterfield yet to start a league game this season.

“I want to stay in the team each week if I put my performances in on a Saturday.

“I’m only there to please the manager and if he’s happy with what I’m doing, long may it continue,” said Johnson.

“But there’s great competition at this club and there are good players who can come in and do as good a job, or maybe sometimes even better. It’s a long season and I know I’m not going to play every game but when I’m in the team I’m going to try my hardest to stay in the team.

“We’ve got Foxy, who’s been out injured. He’s back now and Tettey is a good signing. It’s good to have competition because it keeps everyone on their toes and training has been sharp.”

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5 comments

  • C`mon, Billy, you don`t need to do that stuff! You`re better than that. Some of us, for various reasons, have to make do with radio commentary, highlights, pub Sky, streams and the occasional ticket - these get rarer as the success bandwagon gathers pace. Doesn`t make us any less valuable as fans. I used to stand in the rain on the concrete terraces of the River End. You wouldn`t see the current breed of season Ticket holders and corporate crustacean crunchers doing that! Blind Faith is just that. It is not a badge of honour.

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    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, October 7, 2012

  • He should not be in the side anyway,slow and not a prem player

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    dave123

    Saturday, October 6, 2012

  • I make you an exception Brewer, difference is you've been before for many years and therefore have an understanding, everything you say I agree with. It's when people jump on the bandwagon without any apparent knowledge and criticise the team for strange things that gets me.

    Report this comment

    Billy

    Monday, October 8, 2012

  • I love your reasoning too, too slow, yeah because a person of his role breaking down play and releasing the ball needs to be fast, that's the reason man city choose Gareth Barry, because of his electric pace. And not a prem player, another flawless argument, backed up superbly, he's as much of a prem player as the rest of them, remembering that our squad is not the best in the league. There's a reason he was in the provisional England squad, he's very good at breaking up play and spraying the ball out for the counter. But meh, what do Capello and I know, Mr. dave123 here is far more insightful, with his armchair and radio, maybe even a live stream now and again.

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    Billy

    Saturday, October 6, 2012

  • Please learn football dave, let me guess, Hoolahan and Fox should be in instead? NCFC fans do have their favourites, despite Johnson's work and distribution being the only good things to come from our midfield, funny how I bet you don't think the same of Howson, another fan favourite, who has been putting in far worse performances, he loves to lose the ball.

    Report this comment

    Billy

    Saturday, October 6, 2012

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