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First Team News

Daniel Johnson Taking It One Game At A Time

9 October 2018

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Preston North End midfielder Daniel Johnson has been in fine form in the last couple of games, but is not getting ahead of himself.

The No.11, who turned 26 this week, celebrated early with two excellent displays after coming on at half-time at Villa Park and then influencing the game from the middle of the park against Wigan Athletic at the weekend.
Reflecting on the victory, he feels it can be a significant turning point for the squad, having dispatched Paul Cook’s high-flyers 4-0 at Deepdale.
“We have been speaking for many weeks that even if it took a 1-0 scrappy win, we just needed the three points to start turning things round, but to go out there and do what we did on Saturday, with a clean sheet and four really good goals, shows what we can do as a team and as a squad,” DJ told iFollow PNE.
“That has been a long time coming and everyone was really pleased with the win. Hopefully we can have a nice break now and then it is Hull away the following Saturday and hopefully we can go there and carry on this form.
“From the start of the season we have had a busy period. We have played a lot of games and not really had a chance to rest and let the body recover properly. There has been players playing with knocks and little niggles and the break has come at a really good time.
“It was very important we got the win before the break, otherwise no one would have been happy, but now we can have a good break, rest and recuperate and then go again.
“We have to take every game as it comes; keep ticking them off and try and get as many points as we can. We are in a place at the moment where we don’t to be, but come January or February, we will see where we are and if we are in a really good place, then we can more than push on, but at the moment we just have to focus and try and keep ticking those boxes.”
Looking back at his own form, he feels that he is starting to produce his best after a stop-start opening period of the season: “I am quite pleased with how the last couple of games have gone for myself and for the boys as well,” he continued. “It has been a tough period for us and I felt that we have gone into games and played well, but not got the right result.
“We have been leaking quite a lot of goals – conceding three goals at home and even away – so it has been a tough journey. But the win at the weekend was a really good win for us. The way we went about our work was good.
“It was a bit of luck and ruthlessness as well. Last season we were really good at defending our box and stopping the other team breaking us down, but for some reason this season so far it has not been going right for us.
“Looking back on the last couple of games we have been really working on a lot of things and you could see that on Saturday and hopefully we can keep that going.
“In any game that you play, you have to earn the right to play. Before we went out, we spoke about turning them quite early and making them drop off, because we knew they wanted to high press like us.
“You always have to earn that respect and that right to go and play and I thought we did that really well.
“In parts of the second half we still had to turn them, because they were still in the game, even with ten men, until we got that third and fourth goal. It was a good performance from everyone and we will look to keep that going.
“It was disappointing that we didn’t get the win at Villa, given the second half performance, so it was important that we carried that on and approached the first half against Wigan like we did the second half at Villa, and we did that.
“It just shows the quality that we have in our squad and we are more than capable of doing that week in, week out.”

Hear more from DJ on iFollow PNE now by clicking on the video above. 

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