Johnson maintains high hopes

Manager singles out hard work

Johnson: Promotion belief

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Bristol City boss Gary Johnson reconfirmed his belief that his side can continue to push for promotion to the Premier League after beating Blackpool at Ashton Gate.

A first-half goal from Marvin Elliott following goalkeeper Paul Rachubka's hashed clearance under aerial pressure from Jamie McCombe was enough to put City level on points with Championship leaders West Brom and Johnson insists their hard work is paying off.

"This was a day when the result meant everything. We worked on our back four all week and they defended magnificently," said Johnson.

"After every match I am asked if we can stay among the leaders and for the 27th time I'll tell you that we can."

Speculation

Johnson has been linked with a move for Coventry's Dele Adebola but he refused to be drawn into too much detail on whether he intended to sign a striker to strengthen his squad before Thursday's transfer deadline.

"We are looking but I have to be very careful because one poor decision could upset the great dressing-room spirit we have here.

"Everything has to be right for a deal to go through and I'm not going to comment on rumours because there are too many of them."

Second half

Blackpool manager Simon Grayson was more bemused with why his team only came to life after the break.

Stephen Crainey had come close to spoiling the party for City when Adriano Basso pulled off the save of the match to tip his free-kick onto the crossbar in the 59th minute.

Grayson said: "We have played against a very good side and given them a great 45 minutes, but you don't win games by playing well for only half the time.

"I was very disappointed with our first half. Unusually for us, we played a lot of nothing balls and couldn't get our game together.

"In the end we have run Bristol very close. We've had a tough run of fixtures and played well for the majority of the time, which is something to take forward."