Bristol City boss waxes lyrical on ‘new signing’ from Stoke City

Bristol City manager Lee Johnson sounds like a happy man to have Benik Afobe back in training.

Afobe only made five appearances since heading to Ashton Gate on loan from Stoke City at the start of the season, with a view to a permanent move.

But he scored three goals and was a favourite with fans and coach alike before he suffered a painful anterior cruciate ligament injury.

The 27-year-old striker was on the cusp of a return to full training when play stopped in mid-March – and a lockdown later he is able to join in with his teammates as they came back this week, with strict social distancing measures in place.

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There are nine games remaining for all clubs in the Championship and Bristol City are only one point outside the top six. Afobe has already admitted he is dreaming of scoring the winner in the play-off final.

Johnson told BristolLive in a press conference: “(The break has) definitely taught us things and myself as a coach that loves the game and works 7am to 11pm, often the family get what’s left of you and that’s not ideal.

“So this period has been nice to be truly present if you like and sort of 6/7 years on that hamster wheel of management means it’s not the worst thing in the world on an individual level to have the break.

“For us as a football club, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

“We’ve got people like Benik Afobe coming back and that’s almost like a new signing for us. He’s trained now two days in a row, once with me individually and then with a group today and he looks very good.”

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