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Bristol City boss insists 37 year old was always ideal choice to play against Newcastle centre-backs

5 years ago

Bristol City Head Coach Lee Johnson, insists he had planned for some time to play Aaron Wilbraham against Newcastle United.

The visiting fans were already expecting a hiding and reading comments from them (see HERE) after the teams were named at 2pm on  Saturday, their reaction was laughter when hearing that the 37 year old striker was to be their lone forward.

Aaron Wilbraham hadn’t been selected for over two months but despite this and his veteran status, he was a real handful for Newcastle and especially Jamaal Lascelles.

The Newcastle Captain losing him completely as he tried to play offside on the opening goal and the visiting centre-forward holding the ball up well, which allowed Bristol City to dominate the chances in the opening half and pressure the home defence.

Certainly, any repeat of the first half defending on Saturday, would be almost sure to see far more than a two goal deficit at half-time with the quality Brighton have up front.

Hopefully as well, a certain number 45 who was at the other end of the pitch will be wondering how somebody 15 years his senior could both look more mobile and more of a threat, plus link up play so much better.

If selected at the Amex Stadium, Aleksandar Mitrovic has to step his game up several levels and the same goes for both Perez and Diame who have disappointed in the supporting role these past two home games.

In this division unexpected results aren’t unusual bu hopefully this is Newcastle’s last wobble of the season, they can’t afford to wait until after half-time to start playing, against any team.

Lee Johnson talking to the Bristol Post:

“Aaron Wilbraham was always down to play in this game.

“I needed a big man and an old head out there against a team like Newcastle and I had it in mind to put him in from the moment I started thinking about this game a few weeks ago.

“He has been out of things for a little bit but Newcastle was the perfect game to bring Aaron Wilbraham back for. I needed people who would work hard and I needed someone to lead the line and occupy Newcastle’s centre halves.

“Aaron did all of those things and lasted the 90 minutes, which was a great effort on his part.

“He and Gary O’Neil gave us that little bit of experience we needed coming to a place like St James Park.

“The kids did brilliantly and showed what they are capable of. I was proud to see so many young players out there doing well on a stage as big as this.

“(19 year old) Zak Vyner was almost in tears afterwards because he cannot believe how well he has played. He’s now proved to himself that he can do it at this level.”


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