Lee Johnson reveals how Mike Bassett-inspired half-time team talk helped Bristol City beat Sunderland

Lee Johnson has revealed his most aggressive half-time team talk of the season helped inspire Bristol City to beat Sunderland.

Sunday, 29th October 2017, 8:51 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 4:55 am
Milan Djuric's header wins the game for Bristol City.

Johnson felt his side were too soft in the first half at the Stadium of Light and told his players as much, likening the exchange at the break to a scene from the popular Mike Bassett movie.

Bobby Reid had headed the visitors in front 28 minutes in but Sunderland equalised through Lewis Grabban's close range effort on the stroke of half-time, his sixth of the season.

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Johnson described Grabban's goal as a wake-up call and made sure his players were on top of their game for the second half, sub Milan Djuric's header sealing three points in the 73rd minute.

Sunderland, lacking ideas and creativity, produced a lethargic second half showing with high-flying City fully deserving of the three points.

Johnson, reflecting on City's win, said: "To be honest it was probably one of the most aggressive half-time team talks I've had to give this year.

"I just thought we were a bit soft if I'm honest.

Milan Djuric's header wins the game for Bristol City.

"We came with a game plan and the game plan was very methodical; how we're going to break down the opposition, how we're going to build up in our phases, and it sort of went out the window because of the conditions.

"We basically had to rile them up and go old-school. It was almost like Whacko from Mike Bassett, when he hits the wall. 'Let's have some, bang'.

"It wasn't hair-dryer treatment because they've done well. I just said look that's below our standards'.

"We just needed to awaken the chimp if you like. Be a little more aggressive in our play. Not attacking people but being powerful and aggressive.

Milan Djuric's header wins the game for Bristol City.

"We needed a platform and I thought that when Milan came on we had that. We've got good footballers and second half they made good decisions in the wind.

"Second half, I don't think Sunderland really had a chance on merit."

The Robins are fourth in the Championship, with struggling Sunderland second bottom ahead of the visit of bottom-of-the-table Bolton Wanderers to the Stadium of Light on Tuesday night.