Barnsley: Johnson’s praise for battling spirit

Lee Johnson
Lee Johnson
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Barnsley boss Lee Johnson praised his side for their competitive spirit after securing a place in this year’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy area quarter-finals.

A battling 2-1 away over Bradford City secured a safe passage through to the next phase.

And the Reds’ reward is a home clash with York City next month with their Wembley dreams very much alive.

“What I was really with was how competitive we were,” said Johnson, who knows another victory in the competition would yield a coveted area semi-final berth.

“We were difficult to break down and it was a tough game, but we’re well chuffed to be in the next round.

“The games opened up in the second half and I thought we were the better side offensively and defensively.”

Goals from striker Marley Watkins and centre-back Alfie Mawson saw the Reds fight back from behind to book their place in the next round.

And the win ended a run of successive defeats ahead of Saturday’s long away trip to Southend United.

“I’m just really pleased we won, but winning is good for confidence,” added Johnson “We’re doing alright. There’s parts to our games which are very good, but there’s also parts which are a bit short.

“But we needed that win to give us a little boost – and I think the fans needed that boost.

“We’ll kick on now and get ready for Saturday. All our international players are back, so all of a sudden we look strong again.”

But despite their welcome win – and a step closer a potential dream final – Johnson was keen to play down his side’s chances of playing at Wembley.

“There’s no talk of Wembley yet,” he stressed. “It’s too earlier to talk about getting to Wembley.

“It’s too tough a northern section to talk of that, it would be disrespectful to talk about that.

“You dream of Wembley though, of course you. I’d love to lead that team out.

“I reckon we’d take 45,000 fans to Wembley. I’d love nothing more than that.

“The dream is still there – and that’s what we’ve got aspire too.”

Meanwhile, Johnson has revealed he is now in the market for another loan player with Manchester United’s Joe Rothwell having returned to his parent club early due to illness.

“The temptation is there, we could do with a another body,” revealed Johnson.