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Profile On Gary Johnson


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Gary Johnson, Bristol City

HE may not be massive in physical stature, but Gary Johnson is not lacking when it comes to the art of motivation, or intimidation.

The diminutive Bristol City manager is certainly big on personality. He could not be described as the shy and retiring type.

Not the sort to worry about putting a few noses out of joint when it comes to fellow managers, Johnson is of the school of bosses who like to engineer a 'them against us' in the dressing room.

It is only a matter of weeks since Johnson got himself in hot water for entering the field of play to kick away a loose ball and waste a little time, as his side claimed a crucial 1-1 draw at promotion rivals Swansea.

Before that, he had spoken with a sense of triumph, following the draw with Forest at Ashton Gate, a result he felt swung the tide heavily in City's favour.

Looking back, it was not a result that really improved either team's chances.

But, following the defeat at Millwall, which left the door ajar for both Forest and Blackpool, Johnson for once abandoned his usual habit of defending his side, as he launched into a verbal battering of his players.

"The lads have had their rollicking and I have upset a few of them. We will see how many come out with flying colours ready for next week," said Johnson.

"They haven't had a chance (to respond). They were all disappointed and quiet and no one has got any right to come back with anything.

"There is a big week ahead of us and we've got to pick the lads up, but sometimes you need to get knocked down to stand up stronger."

Traditionally, Bristol City have been the nearly men of League One, having finished in the top ten every year since the turn of the millennium.

Twice, under Danny Wilson, the Robins came agonising close to automatic promotion, finishing third in both 2002/03 and 2003/04 and twice missing out in the play-offs.

This fact will not be lost on City supporters, who will be dreading another last-minute slip out of the top two.

But, with Johnson at the helm, you suspect that, if the Robins slip up, it will not be down to a lack of motivation or drive. And, if they do, Johnson will ensure that they know about it.

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