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Johnson: We’re going to have to learn within the games

16 September 2023

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Manager Lee Johnson spoke to the media after his side lost to Oxford United at Highbury on Saturday afternoon.

Even though Town struck the woodwork on multiple occasions throughout the game, it was the Yellows who took the points on the day thanks to goals from Stanley Mills, Billy Bodin, and Kyle Edwards.

Here’s what Lee had to say in his post-match interview:

On the result and the mental battles…

“It was certainly not the start that I wanted; in terms of the game, I thought it was neck and neck in that first 15 minutes, then Oxford scored a good goal from their point of view, but it was disappointing from our point of view.

“We’ve got a better squad of players than we saw on paper today, there were good elements to the game as we have had good chances – we hit the woodwork twice. I’m looking at the boys and they have to commit, the key word for me is that commitment.

“They have to commit to execute what we’ve worked on during the week, they have to commit to putting their bodies on the line. Often in games, the timing of goals, especially with the league position we’re in at the moment, can deflate players a little bit quickly.”

“The physical fitness is there but it’s the emotional fitness. They need to be able to deal with mini setbacks in the game and can we deal with them better, can we look after our mates if they make a mistake just that little bit better.”

Moving forward…

“We’re in this position now and there’s a lot of work to do. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve lost no enthusiasm for the hard work that lies ahead, at the same time we’ve got to be honest with an evaluation of the game today.

“I’ll show the boys a set of highlights to show that it is in us to be able to perform well, but we’ve got to give 96-minute performances, and I think there wasn’t enough today for long enough.

“There was effort, there was application, they tried to do the right things but just not enough for where we need to be. I want to try and galvanise the club, a win today would have been the perfect opportunity to set that in motion.

“We’re going to have to learn within the games as well, I’ve already learnt an awful lot today about the individuals and I’m learning all the time. That shows the work that we’ve got to do first of all on the training ground and then try and bring that out into the league games.”

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