Lee Johnson: Bristol City boss knows getting squad right will take time

Lee Johnson
Lee Johnson began his managerial career at Oldham in March 2013 after retiring as a player

Bristol City head coach Lee Johnson says it will "probably take three transfer windows" to shape his squad the way he would like.

The Robins are planning for next season having secured their safety in the Championship with two games to go.

"We've got to get the recruitment right and it'll be tough this window," Johnson, 34, told BBC Radio Bristol.

"It's important we get the numbers (in the squad) right because it's going to be difficult to manage everybody."

Johnson, who has been at Aston Gate since February, thinks the decision by Fifa to scrap the emergency loan system, meaning clubs will only be able to sign players during the summer and January transfer windows from 2016-17, will make life even more of a challenge.

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Young players need a carrot - Johnson

"Any team in any division, under these new rules, if you're pushing for promotion you don't want to be left short and have to play somebody who's not ready," he explained. "And if you're in a relegation fight, you don't want to be left in trouble. It's a real change in balance and people's thought processes.

"To get a true reflection of one of my teams it'll probably take three windows, but we'll look to fast-track that."

Although "excited" about the prospect of building his side, Johnson is wary of the repercussions of having one less opportunity to recruit during the season.

"When you talk about volumes of squads going up it's not ideal," he said. "You're going to get young players not playing and that's the big thing that really grates me.

"For example, someone like Zak Vyner comes in and plays, signs his new contract and then we'd look to loan him out but we can't do that next season."

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