Preston North End midfielder Daniel Johnson admits that the initial prognosis of his injury was a ‘scary’ one, but is delighted to be back fully fit and ready to help his team-mates climb the table.
The North End No.11 returned to the starting line-up at Nottingham Forest at the weekend, having missed the last three games with a thigh injury in his right leg.
However, as he explained when he spoke to iFollow PNE at Springfields this week, the midfielder initially thought his season could be over.
“It was a bit of a scary moment when I first got told I was probably going to be out for the rest of the season, but luckily for me it wasn’t that bad,” he said.
“The time I have had off, I have been able to reflect and also get my leg a bit stronger and that is an ongoing process at the moment, but I am delighted to be back.
“I think if it had been my left leg it would have been a bit more complicated, but luckily for me it is the one I don’t really use! Hopefully now I can stay fit and stay healthy.
“I don’t know how I managed to get through 92 minutes! I was delighted to be back out there and to play 90-plus minutes and to help the boys get the result was great.
“I thought we did really well, defended really well and did what we are supposed to do. They are a good team, but we went there, caused an upset and get the three points.”
Two of the last three away games have been indicative of the displays on the road that saw the Lilywhites finish seventh in the Championship in 2017/18 and DJ says the team are delighted to keep upsetting the odds.
“We know going to places like that, against teams who are at home in their own back yard, they are going to want to play their football and we just have to concentrate on what we are doing and keep causing upsets,” he continued.
“They were fifth in the league before Saturday, scored some really good goals and played some really good football and they are a quality team, but we have always known that wherever we go, we can go toe to toe with anyone and we did that.”
And heading into the weekend, with seven days to recover and then prepare, the midfield-man is looking forwards and not over his shoulder: “It was the goal to keep looking forward and not look back on the past.
“It was a bad result against Birmingham, but we got it out of our system quickly, got back on the training field and worked and worked and worked and we went down to Forest and got the three points.
“The game of football changes really quickly and Saturday is going to be a different game.
“We will be the home team and we will have to come out and play our football, like we have been doing, and hopefully we can go out there and show the team how good we are.
“The Saturday to Saturday will benefit the whole team. We are missing Pearo, Josh Earl and Brandon went down injured on Saturday, so we are missing a few players and it has been a bit of bad luck for us, it is quite annoying really and it must be even more of a headache for the manager.
“But hopefully we will have a few players back for Saturday’s game, strengthen the team a little bit more and I am sure that whatever team the manager puts out on Saturday, we will go and get the right result,” he added.