Bristol City 1 Blackpool 0: Johnson happy to win ugly as City draw level at the top

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The Independent Football

Gary Johnson reaffirmed his belief that City can sustain their bid for a place in the Premier League after edging past Blackpool at Ashton Gate on Saturday.

After seeing a first-half goal from Marvin Elliott put the club level on points with Coca-Cola Championship leaders West Brom, the manager declined to dwell on a less than impressive second-half display.

"This was a day when the result meant everything. We worked on our back four and they defended magnificently," said Johnson. "After every match I am asked if we can stay among the leaders and for the 29th time I'll tell you we can."

Asked whether he intended to sign a striker to strengthen his squad before Thursday's deadline, Johnson was less forthright. "We are looking but I have to be very careful because one poor decision could upset the great dressing-room spirit we have.

"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."

The Blackpool manager, Simon Grayson, was more concerned with why his team came to life only in the second period.

City's first-half dominance was rewarded when midfielder Elliott hit home a right-foot volley after 20 minutes following goalkeeper Paul Rachubka's hashed clearance under aerial pressure from Jamie McCombe.

But the home side hung on in the second period and Adriano Basso produced a fine save to tip a Stephen Crainey free-kick on to the bar after 59 minutes.

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 the first half. Unusually for us, we played a lot of nothing balls and couldn't get our game together."