Ex-Bristol City winger Jamal Campbell-Ryce has revealed he was disappointed to see former teammate Lee Johnson sacked by the club earlier this year, speaking exclusively to Football League World.
Following four years at the helm, Johnson was relieved of his duties by the South West club in July after a poor run had seen the play-offs slip away from the Robins.
Campbell-Ryce is someone that has seen the 39-year-old’s managerial style close up, having shadowed him while he was still in charge of City at the start of the year.
The former winger was teammates with Johnson and his assistant Jamie McAllister at Ashton Gate back in the early 2010s and, in an exclusive interview with Football League World, provided his thoughts on the change in management at his former club.
He said: “Football is like anything in the world, it’s a results business. Was I surprised by it? Absolutely but in my 20-year playing career, I’ve seen some strange decisions and weird things – too many to list probably.
“So, while I was surprised by it, I wasn’t surprised by it at the same time. I think it was more that I was disappointed by it because obviously the chairman knows Lee and Jamie personally and knows what their plans were, how they were moving forward, and what they’ve done for the club.
“At the same time, the chairman has got plans as well. He wants to get to the Premier League as soon as possible and he may have thought that Lee had taken the club as far as he could go.
“You never know what is going through the back of an owner or chairman’s mind. It’s disappointing but what can you do? It’s one of those where you just have to dust yourselves down and be proud of the work that you’ve done, because at the end of the day they did do an incredible job, and just move on.”
Johnson was appointed as Sunderland boss over the weekend and claimed his first win yesterday, a 2-1 win against Oldham Athletic that confirmed the Black Cats’ place in the last 16 of the Papa John’s Trophy.