Johnson enjoying long journey to the summit
Bradley Johnson is a man realising a dream.
The Canaries midfielder is something of a rarity in the Premier League – albeit not in the Norwich ranks – having worked his way up through non-league football and the lower divisions of the Football League, to ply his trade on the biggest stage of all.
After two starts in the yellow and green, the summer signing has seen enough to believe City can help him realise his ambitions.
'It is terrific because I have dreamed of this since I was a little kid,' he said. 'I have come up from the non league and I have worked my way up and I want to stay here now and hopefully I can do that this year with Norwich City.'
For the moment, there is something of a learning curve for City to negotiate, but the evidence from Saturday suggests there is plenty in the tank – and more will come out over the next two weeks as City look back over their opening three games and prepare to go again go again after the international break, with West Brom next up on September 11.
'We are in a league now where you can't take your foot off the pedal,' Johnson said. 'This is the Premier League. We worked hard to get here and we want to stay here and we have to do things right on and off the pitch.
'We want to play week in, week out – especially playing the way we did today. I think we are confident. We have to deal with the break, but we are professionals so we will go away and look after ourselves and be ready for the next game.'
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Johnson insists the final scoreline wasn't an accurate reflection of the game, with the red card against keeper John Ruddy and the subsequent penalty award which put Chelsea 2-1 up, the crucial turning point. 'We've been talking about it in there,' said Johnson. 'Ruddy seems to think he has pulled his hands away and Ramires has just run in to him, but you can't tell. It's a game of 100mph and the ref has just gone on instinct and given it. We have to deal with things like that.
'If it's a penalty, then fair, but Ruddy seems to think it's not a penalty and most of the lads seem to think it isn't a penalty, but it's 100mph and the ref has to give it.
'I thought we played well and I don't think we deserved to lose. I think a draw would have been fair, but the sending off changed the game for us.
'We have got a good bunch of lads here and we have that never-say-die attitude and we proved it again today by the way we played and I think we put Chelsea on the back foot in the second half, the whole of the second half.
'We deservedly scored our goal, it was a well-worked goal, but I feel the sending off changed it and they scored two goals from there.
'The boys are all gutted that we have come off with a 3-1 defeat, but we can take a lot of positives away from the game. We worked Chelsea very hard for the second half and I think most of them out there will agree. They were applauding us as we went off for how well we had done.
'But it's the Premier League – you take your chances, and they took them today.'
Johnson believes City showed enough to prove they can hold their own in the top flight this season.
'Yes – we are going to compete,' he said. 'We have a good bunch of lads and the win, it is only a matter of time before it comes.'