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"Reda Johnson brings a leadership and power. Moving forward, we need to find a way he is on the pitch more." - Coventry City's Tony Mowbray

13 April 2015

The City defender returned to the side in the 1-0 win over Colchester United and helped City keep a crucial clean sheet...

Coventry City manager Tony Mowbray believes the City side has missed Reda Johnson's 'leadership qualities' ahead of the home game against Oldham Athletic.

The former Sheffield Wednesday man returned to action at the weekend following a thigh injury and had a positive impact as the Sky Blues recorded a crucial 1-0 victory.

The Sky Blues have only lost one league game with Johnson in the side, the 2-1 defeat at Scunthorpe United where the defender was sent off in the first-half.

City's home record is also substantially improved with the Benin international in the side as in the eight league games he has played at the Ricoh Arena, City have won five and picked up three draws.

Johnson, who came through the Colchester win with 'flying colours', was praised by City boss Mowbray for his influence in what is a 'young' Coventry dressing room.

The City boss said: "It is a very young dressing room and that can often reflect on how the game goes. Their effort, determination and the desire is second to none but you do need to be able to level that off with some experience.

"Sometimes, there is probably a lack of a voice in the dressing room. There are one or two like Jim (O'Brien) who is very vocal and Reda was very vocal at the weekend.

"I can see what the group can get from him really. If you want to analyse points achieved, the side's record is vastly improved when Reda is playing and I think the players know that and get confidence from that.

"He brings an assertiveness and a power which are qualities every team needs. His personality around the place on the lead-up to the game and in the dressing room is a really big help."

Unfortunately, due to injuries and suspension, Johnson has only been able to make 18 appearances so far this season, but has scored five goals from defence. 

Mowbray hopes that Johnson can work with the club's medical and Sports Science department to come up with a fitness programme so he plays more games in a season.

He added: "Obviously, he needs to play more games in a season and I don't think it's just been an issue this season but something which has happened over the last few seasons.

"We've got to find a way with Reda and the medical and sports science department to see how he can achieve more minutes on the pitch throughout a season. 

"Moving forward, we need to address his training programme and how he is looked after off the pitch to make sure he is available to play football. 

"Sometimes, certain players need that treatment and you need to rest them to get them on the pitch. If we need to taper his training programme to make sure he plays, that's got to be something we need to look into."

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