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Bristol City boss Johnson backs Diedhiou to silence critics

Bristol City boss Johnson backs Diedhiou to silence critics

Boss Lee Johnson thinks Bristol City striker Famara Diedhiou will silence his critics if he continues the form that saw Birmingham lose 1-0.

The Robins inflicted the first Championship home defeat in nine months on Garry Monk’s side at St Andrew’s on Saturday.

Johnson’s confidence has been boosted by the form of Bristol City’s record signing, Diedhiou, who scored the only goal of the game to take his tally to five for the season.

It was something of a bittersweet experience for the Senegal international striker following the previous game against Birmingham last season when he was subsequently banned for six games.

Bristol City manager Johnson said: “Diedhiou’s goal was important, particularly after the spitting incident at the end of last season. We thought the six match ban was unjust as there was no video evidence.

“The way to answer silence critics is to put the ball in the back of the net.

“I am delighted for him as he felt that the punishment was unjust. He did feel quite hurt.

“Now he has hit form and he is proving difficult to stop.”

Johnson added: “Obviously it was a big blow to be without our record signing for the first six games. We coped with the situation as we didn’t have a bad start.

“But last season Diedhiou and Bobby Reid were the most prolific strike force in the division.

“Naturally, we lost Reid and we are still trying to find our way with a new group and a new style.”

Johnson has every reason to be delighted as Diedhiou proved the Robins’ match winner for the second time in three weeks. He followed up his winning goal in a 3-2 win at Ipswich with another crucial 63rd strike to give the Robins  their third away win in five games on the road.

The Bristol City boss said: “It was a dog fight in difficult conditions. We can do better as we are getting stronger.”

Birmingham’s first Championship home defeat of the season was the result of a below par performance which is out of character for Monk’s side.

Monk was not happy and said: “I feel hugely frustrated for my players. I said before this game that we are coming into a period when marches are going to be decided by small margins.

“On this occasion we were on the wrong side when certain decisions didn’t go our way.

“We had three penalty decisions turned down. It was incredible that we didn’t get at least one.

“Jacques Maghoma’s was a clear penalty in the first half. He had contact from two different players when his next step was to shoot at goal. It was quite baffling.

“The decisions went against us and this is out of our control. This is why I feel so frustrated for the players as we didn’t lose the game.

“We were disappointed with the goal as it was a defensive mistake.

“It was a set-back but we are competing hard and we have shown we can respond.”

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