Lee Johnson was a proud head coach as his Bristol City players headed off for their annual Christmas party on the back of a thrilling performance in a 5-2 home win over Huddersfield.
The hosts were ahead after 11 minutes when Andreas Weimann’s shot was diverted past Kamil Grabara by Josh Brownhill and they doubled their advantage on the half hour as Terence Kongolo deflected Niclas Eliasson’s cross past his own goalkeeper.
Karlan Grant halved the deficit after 35 minutes with a right-footed shot from an angle, but seconds later Eliasson headed home a Brownhill cross.
Eliasson’s 40th minute cross was converted by Ashley Williams with a bullet header and soon after the break it was 5-1, Weimann running onto an Adam Nagy through ball and rounding Grabara before firing home from a narrow angle.
Juninho Bacuna pulled a goal back for Huddersfield with a sweet low drive from 25 yards, but it proved no more than a consolation for his outplayed side.
Johnson said: “The lads are going out tonight. I don’t think I went as far as saying I would ban the party if we didn’t play well but I might have hinted at it!
“We had a setback at West Brom in midweek and I asked for a response. Today we were absolutely brilliant against a team who have improved since Danny Cowley took over and presented another tough test.
“We have been sending Niclas Eliasson for weekly judo sessions. They have ensured he uses his body better and has the strength to match his ability.
“He was outstanding, but that applied to a lot of my players. Han-Noah Massengo was fantastic in midfield for such a young player and the world is his oyster on that display.
“It was great to give our fans a performance to warm them on a cold afternoon and I’m sure they have gone home happy.
“We are 19 games into the season, but I still feel there is more to come from us because we are a young and developing side.
“It’s good to be back in the play-off zone, but I am genuinely taking things a game at a time and just looking for more progress.”
Huddersfield suffered a blow in the opening minutes minutes when striker Fraizer Campbell hobbled off to be replaced by Adama Diakhaby.
But boss Cowley offered no excuses and said. “I actually felt ashamed when I went over to applaud our fans at the end.
“We are pampered and flew down yesterday when they were working to earn the money to come and watch us.
“Now they face a long journey home and I feel for them because they stuck behind the players throughout the game and were a credit to our club.
“I am not used to seeing my players lack resilience. We did not have enough good men out there with the qualities you need to get results away from home in the Championship.
“Bristol City were very good and all credit to them. But we have to take a long hard look at ourselves in the mirror after that performance.
“It didn’t help losing Fraizer so early and we are without some key defenders, but I am not going to try and hide behind that.
“Before we look to bounce back we need to analyse fully where we fell short.”
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