Norwich City midfielder Bradley Johnson is prepared for Arsenal backlash
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images
Norwich City midfielder Bradley Johnson insisted yesterday he has no problem with Arsenal's Bacary Sagna ahead of this weekend's Premier League trip to the Emirates.
The Gunners' French international publicly condemned Johnson for the tackle that broke his leg following last season's entertaining 3-3 top flight draw which ruled him out of the European Championships. Sagna claimed in the immediate aftermath Johnson had trodden on the same leg he had previously broken, but the Norwich midfielder is unfazed by the potential adverse reaction from the home fans.
'I don't remember the tackle,' he said. 'Obviously I've heard about what him and (Arsene) Wenger have said but I don't think I really did anything and that's long been forgotten in my memory.
'I'm just going to go there and play my game. It's not going to affect me. I don't know what reaction I'll get. I don't think the reception will bother me. I have matured and I got a few boos when I was at Leeds as well, so I think I've grown out of that now. I've learned to block it out and just concentrate on my game.
'Obviously I don't set out to hurt people when I go and play, but tackling is part of my game and if I caught him and it's a recurrence of his broken leg, then obviously I'm sorry about that. But I didn't go out maliciously to hurt anyone. I don't do that. I'm just going to concentrate on the game on Saturday and help Norwich get three points.'
The boyhood Arsenal fan has an extra incentive to impress against the club which released him as a teenager.
'Playing Arsenal is special for me and special for my family,' he said. 'I've grown up an Arsenal fan. My whole family are Arsenal fans. All my family have been on the phone this week saying make sure you get me a ticket so I've tried my hardest to get everyone in there. All the family are Arsenal fans, but I've got one little brother who just wanted to do it the other way and he's a Manchester United fan.
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'It'll be a good day for my family and a good day for me, but hopefully we can get the win. I'm not going to be an Arsenal fan on Saturday. To go back there and see the old coaches and talk to them, and be so proud of what I have done, and to walk out playing against them at the Emirates is such a great feeling for myself.'
Johnson admits Chris Hughton's squad will draw plenty of encouragement from that stirring 1-0 Carrow Road league win earlier this season.
'I think we know what we've got to do against Arsenal. This year we had a game plan at our place to get in their faces and upset them, and I think we can do it again on Saturday,' he said. 'We've got one win (against them) this year and hopefully we can make that two on Saturday.'