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Page last updated at 22:31 GMT, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 23:31 UK

Johnson ecstatic after Robins win

We have quality players - Johnson

Bristol City boss Gary Johnson said his side's play-off semi-final victory over Crystal Palace on Tuesday was the proudest moment of his career.

"I'm as proud as I can possibly be. This result means a great deal to this football club," said Johnson.

"We had to come back from adversity. We're humble in victory but the lads have put in a fantastic performance.

"To come back and finish as strongly as they did is a credit to them and their season's work on the training ground."

Ben Watson pulled Palace level on aggregate but then missed a penalty with less than 20 minutes remaining.

A wonderful strike from Lee Trundle put the Robins 3-2 ahead in extra time at Ashton Gate before Michael McIndoe's spectacular effort sealed victory for Johnson's side.

The Robins will face Hull or Watford in the final on 24 May at Wembley, and Johnson said he would not let his players lose sight of the overall goal of reaching the Premier League.

"We've got to be careful because we've still got one massive game to go - it's not over," he added.

"We'll enjoy Wembley, but everyone knows you only enjoy it of you're the winners."


Crystal Palace boss Neil Warnock refused to blame Watson's penalty miss for his side's defeat.

"We wanted to get a goal before half-time and then we got a penalty with 17 minutes to go so you can't ask for any more than that," said Warnock.

"But it's not Ben Watson's fault. I wouldn't have wanted to take it.

"I thought Ben, Tom Soares and Shaun Derry were absolutely magnificent. Bristol City will know they've been in a game."

Warnock said his side had played the better football at Ashton Gate without getting the rewards.

"It's obviously disappointing but I'm glad we played well. I knew we were better than how we played last week (in the first leg).

"They scored two great goals - and they did the same last week.

"I applauded Michael McIndoe's free-kick but I thought we were the better side and I couldn't be any prouder of my lads.

"When I came here we were in relegation trouble and we looked a good side in this match so I'm pleased we ended the season on a performance like that."

see also
Bristol C 2-1 C Palace (agg 4-2)
13 May 08 |  Championship
Bristol City v C Palace as it happened
13 May 08 |  Championship
Fans can shout us home - Johnson
13 May 08 |  Bristol City
Warnock sends out warning to City
10 May 08 |  Championship
Crystal Palace 1-2 Bristol City
10 May 08 |  Championship

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