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BRADLEY JOHNSON: WE KNOW WHAT IT MEANS

8 May 2015

Midfielder ready for Town challenge

BRADLEY Johnson fully understands the significance of facing Ipswich Town in the Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final first leg at Portman Road on Saturday (12:15pm).

The East Anglian rivals will go head-to-head over 180 minutes for a place at Wembley, with the ultimate prize on offer being promotion to the Premier League ahead of the 2015-16 campaign.

Speaking to the media at Colney Training Centre on Friday morning, the City midfielder said: "I’m excited because these games are what you live for as a professional footballer.

"To play your local rivals, especially with what’s riding on it, makes it an occasion you want to play in. All the lads have been training this week preparing for the game and we’re looking forward to it.

"The players know the importance of the game, especially those who have been here a long while such as myself, Russ Martin and Wes Hoolahan. It's the old cliché though; we're treating it as a normal game we want to win.

"We're going to go there with confidence because we want to get to the final."

The Canaries won both encounters during the regular season, with Johnson scoring in the latter to help his side to a 2-0 victory at Carrow Road in March.

However, the Player of the Season played down the relevance of those matches, commenting: "The results we got home and away during the season count for nothing now.

"It’s a clean slate in the play-offs so we’ve got to there and put in the same work ethic and attitude we have throughout. You can't let the occasion get to you and have to keep a cool head in the emotions of the game.

"Ipswich are going to be fired up so we can't go into the game thinking it's going to be easy because it won't be. The crowd are going to be raring to go, and it's going to be a hostile atmopshere.

"It’s a derby game and everyone looks forward to it. Everyone's got to be on their game because it's going to be a battle. Hopefully we'll get the rewards we deserve."

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