Robins hardly rocking but Johnson’s still the right man
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Q: What have you made of the season so far – is Lee Johnson still the right man for the Robins?
A: When you consider we've lost Flint, Bryan and Reid in the summer and have not spent a huge amount to replace them, I think our current position is actually something of an achievement. Bristol City fans are yet to truly come to terms with the erratic nature of our team under Johnson. Four wins, five without one, two wins followed by four losses. In our last three games we've taken home seven points. Despite this, there is still a large number of fans who dislike Johnson and are not content with our position. Personally I have no problem with him remaining as manager. I feel he's doing a good job and despite the less entertaining style of football I believe we will continue to improve.
Q: Just one win in the last six home games, is that a concern?
A: Is it that bad? Three wins from 10 home games is not good enough and some of our worst performances have come at home. I think our style of play suits away games as Ashton Gate can get incredibly impatient if we're not rushing forward at the earliest opportunity. Once the fans get used to our new style they'll perhaps come to appreciate it more.
Q: Do you think the squad is capable of mounting a play-off chase?
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A: With one or two tweaks quite possibly! Whether it will happen or not I don't know. We're in the upper echelons of the league for shots on target and shots on target against us. Personally I think we could flirt with a play-off push but it may be too much of an ask. We've got a completely new back five and we've got a new style so one would hope there is improvement still to come. January will be key.
Q: How has Marley Watkins been getting on since joining from Norwich?
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A: I like Marley Watkins. Despite his lack of technical ability his hard-working no-nonsense nature has endeared himself to the majority of Bristol City fans. He offers an aerial threat and physicality that is often missing in our side. Our wingers have had an awful goal scoring record over the last few years so for Watkins to have two goals already this season is something akin to a miracle. I'd like to see him playing more now that he is back from injury.
Q: Which players have impressed?
A: In terms of new additions Adam Webster stands out above the rest. Ipswich fans didn't give him a glowing review when we signed him. The fact he was brought in to replace Aden Flint meant a lot of our fans were instantly judging his every move. I honestly think he's outstanding, excellent on the ball and incredibly composed for such a young player. Would be nice to see him contribute more at the opposite end, however, as we miss Flint in that respect. For players already here, Lloyd Kelly is our golden boy; he's been outstanding at left-back despite really being a future centre-back and that is where he has been playing for both England U20s and U21s. I think he'll soon make the move inside and that is when the big Premier League clubs will come in with bids.
Q: And which have been disappointing?
A: Andreas Weimann started the season on absolute fire but recently has gone off the boil, big time. He's been playing right midfield which clearly doesn't suit him. If we could get the best out of him and Famara Diedhiou we'd have an excellent front two. Right now we're playing one up front. Mo Eisa was signed from Cheltenham and he excited a lot of fans when his highlight reel spread throughout the Bristol City social media stratosphere. Unfortunately after a long injury he's not been given a chance to show us what he's capable of. Would be nice to see him get more game time.
Q: Have you been surprised to see Norwich leading the table in the last month?
A: Isn't everyone? I know that many Norwich fans were willing to be very patient with Daniel Farke and their patience has been rewarded. I'm amazed how well you're doing considering that Pritchard, Murphy and Maddison have all left for pastures new. Farke has signed some real gems and it'll be interesting to see how long you keep up the momentum.
Q: Are there any Canaries players that particularly worry you?
A: Hernandez I really like the look of. Pisano and Hunt (our two right backs) are not blessed with a huge amount of pace so I am concerned he could get around them quite easily. Also, I remember watching you guys against Chelsea last season and was impressed with Cantwell and Lewis that day.
Q: And lastly, what is your prediction?
A: Weirdly we seem to perform better against better opposition. If Norwich can get the ball off us whilst we're passing it around then I fear you could counter and really hurt us on the break. I do feel we will be really up for it and wanting to put in a strong home performance. Only idiots predict draws and that is why I'm going for a 2-2.
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