Bristol City boss Lee Johnson full of praise for Norwich City academy product Korey Smith after ‘hard fought’ draw at Carrow Road
PUBLISHED: 14:10 24 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:56 24 September 2017
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In amongst the latest midfield battle at Carrow Road was Canaries academy product Korey Smith, who remains a firm favourite with Bristol City boss Lee Johnson.
The tough tackling 26-year-old helped keep the Canaries at bay, playing his first match at his old home since August 2011. It was Johnson who took Smith to Oldham on a free transfer in 2013, before they were reunited at Ashton Gate.
Having made 73 appearances for Norwich to help Paul Lambert’s team earn back-to-back promotions to the Premier League, Smith now has over 280 senior appearances on his CV.
“Korey’s a very good player and he’s now established himself in the Championship. Obviously I signed him from Norwich to Oldham originally, so I knew what a good player he was,” the Bristol boss said following Saturday’s 0-0 draw.
“He’s been a big part of my rise to get to Bristol City and performed very, very well for me at Oldham. He’s been part of the identity of the Lee Johnson team and I thought today was tough, but he got his body in, he used the ball quite well – I’m a bit disappointed that he didn’t hit the target with his shot but maybe I’m being a bit too greedy.”
He added with a chuckle: “I think they have got a good song: ‘Korey Smith, he’s here, he’s there... He’s absolutely everywhere’, I think. Unless I’ve misheard it!”
Johnson was satisfied with his team’s efforts overall as well, as they extended their unbeaten run to nine matches.
“I would say it was a hard-fought point,” he continued.
“Obviously it’s a hard place to come. I didn’t think we were at our best, if I’m honest, but I thought we defended very, very well. They’ve got attacking threats but so do we. I thought they defended well, but so did we. A draw was probably about the fair result.”
Asked whether he thought Cameron Jerome’s disallowed goal was offisde, Johnson responded: “I haven’t had a chance to look at it, so it’s difficult for me to comment. At the time we thought it was offside but it’s difficult because we’re not watching the line.
“My instinct straightaway before he touched it and before the linesman put his flag up was that it was offside.”