Johnstone: Team wins trump personal accolades

Sam Johnstone says he enjoyed keeping another clean sheet - but admits it’s the three points picked up at Villa Park that left him “buzzing”.

The Baggies stopper made two crucial saves to help Albion record a third-successive away shutout - denying Tammy Abraham and John McGinn with excellent stops either side of half-time. 

Resilience at the back from Sam & Co allowed two goals in five first-half minutes - from Hal Robson-Kanu and Jay Rodriguez - to seal victory over Villa.

But Johnstone says team performances will always trump personal accolades.   

“Yeah, it feels very good - just to get the win and the clean sheet,” he said.

“The manager said ‘don’t play the occasion, it’s just another game, go out there and get a result’. And we did that.

“We were under a lot of pressure as well but the two goals just before half-time helped us. 

“It’s been difficult to keep clean sheets, but because of the way we want to play football we are a little more open than other teams. As long as we get the three points it is what it is but it’s nice to keep clean sheets and at the back end of the season hopefully we keep more and keep getting the three points.

“I enjoyed coming back playing here but I’m buzzing we got the three points.  

“The lads are buzzing in the dressing room. We needed to win that, especially after the draw in midweek, and we’ve got another game coming up quick so it’s time to recover and we go again Tuesday.” 

Sam also reflected on his denial of Abraham from point-blank range on eight minutes. 

“The game had opened up, he took a touch and I just came out and spread myself - and made the save. I think it was a crucial time in the game at 0-0. I’m happy with that and then we go on and get the win and a clean sheet.”

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