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Johnson: I think it was the perfect week for us

11 November 2023

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Manager Lee Johnson spoke to the media after his side extended their unbeaten streak to six games in all competitions after beating Exeter City at Highbury.

A brilliant free kick from Phoenix Patterson, as well as earlier goals from Ryan Broom and Brendan Wiredu, wrapped up an impressive victory at Highbury. 

Here’s what the gaffer had to say after the game:

On today’s excellent victory…

“I think it was the perfect week for us; we’re trending in the right direction. Everybody is starting to enjoy their game within the structure of the team and that’s the key. The players all have got real individual qualities and we’ve got to find a way to blend them.

“I thought the first half in particular was excellent. We could’ve been 5-0 up I think at half-time, I think that would’ve probably been a fair assessment of the first half. I always believed we had goals in us, straight away when I came through the door, I believed that.

“I was just so pleased that we got that second and then we got the third, then the test was not having a repeat of Blackpool. That first 5-10 minutes after half time to make sure that we kept that clean sheet throughout the 45 minutes. I’m delighted that we did."

On key areas of our game…

“The key for us is that we know what good looks like now, and we know when we’re not playing well what that looks like as well. I think that allows players to then self-coach and manage each other - I was really pleased to see that. That’s a really positive sign for us.

“We certainly didn’t concede as many crosses, that was one of the big working points for us over the last ten days since the Blackpool game. I was really pleased with that. 

“We have to demand excellence all the time. We’ve got to demand the detail on every pass, we’ve got to make sure we’re squeezing the line, applying pressure at the right speed and angle of approach. All these things are really, really key to us.”

On Patterson and Wiredu working together…

“[Phoenix Patterson] has been on it for the last 2-3 weeks. I know how good he is, he’s got a great centre of gravity, a great end product. He’s got a little shift of pace and that dynamics we need in the final third and he’s got real quality.

“I think [Brendan Wiredu] is a really top player and I’m really excited to work with him. He’s a great lad as well that’s massive, especially for a coach, you want that interaction with a player. I’m really excited about the future he can have. 

“How many toes did [Wiredu] get on the ball? Every time they had an opportunity to counter on us it seemed that Brendan was making some sort of slide tackle, getting a toe and then allowing us to tidy up.”

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