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'I'm A Big Champion Of His Because I Believe In Him'

'I'm A Big Champion Of His Because I Believe In Him'
By PJ Browne
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Bristol City announced during the week that they had exercised an option in Callum O'Dowda's contract which will extend his time at the club until at least 2020.

The Ireland international, who joined Bristol from Oxford United in 2016, was due to be out of contract this summer.

Speaking after his side's win against Nottingham Forest on Saturday, Bristol manager Lee Johnson said that the triggering of O'Dowda's contract option had not been in reaction to speculation linking the winger with a move to Leeds.

Johnson became Bristol manager five months before O'Dowda moved to Ashton Gate. He said that he has seen the 23-year-old progress during his time at the club.

"I'm a big champion of his because I believe in him and I think you saw his calmness, athleticism and composure on the ball today but he's still got things to improve on - end product and goals and assists - but certainly that raw potential is there to go on and play at the top level," Johnson told the Bristol Post.


"First and foremost Callum's a fantastic human being. That's important.

"We try to set the culture at the football club and obviously we knew about his potential at Oxford United and have given him the vehicle to grow if you like and the work to put into him behind the scenes.


"Since he's signed he's probably put on four or five kilos of muscle mass on.

"It's not just technical but physical and tactical - he's a good student and he's a consistent starter in the Ireland squad and rightly so.

"Obviously we want to keep him as long as we can and it should be our job to build around those types of players and that will give us the opportunity at some point to compete in the higher echelons of the division."


Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

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