Johnson grateful for fortunate decision

04 October 2009 01:09
Bristol City manager Gary Johnson admitted his side had perhaps had a lucky escape after Newcastle were denied what appeared to be a certain penalty in their goalless draw against Newcastle.

Referee Graham Salisbury waved away Marlon Harewood's appeals after the striker had been felled in the box by substitute Jamie McCombe's clumsy 74th-minute challenge, much to the astonishment of the home side and a crowd of 43,326.

Newcastle caretaker boss Chris Hughton felt it was an "absolute certain" spot-kick, and Johnson added: "I must admit, my heart was in my mouth at the time.

"The lads felt there was a bit of contact but from our point of view, maybe he was starting to go down early, we don't know. But he (Salisbury) was very brave with forty-odd thousand people screaming for a penalty, anyway."

Johnson was delighted with his players, and particularly Dean Gerken, who only discovered he was playing five minutes before kick-off after Adriano Basso picked up a groin injury during the warm-up.

He said: "We made that decision at 2.55pm. I was going to give my super motivational speech and I need them all smiling when I give that, and Basso was grimacing a little bit and doing a stretch on his groin. We were able to bring Dean Gerken in and on the day, I would have thought he was a candidate for man of the match."

Source: Eurosport