Preston North End midfielder Daniel Johnson missed the Lilywhites’ two games against Huddersfield Town last season, but is hoping to be selected for this weekend’s trip to the John Smith’s Stadium.
The No.11 made his first league outing of the season in the win at Queens Park Rangers on Wednesday night and he feels that his recovery – and that of the rest of the squad – will be a vital as part of their preparations for the Roses battle.
“This moment is going to be key for everyone, but especially me, because I have been out for a while and I have not played that many games,” he told iFollow PNE.
“Recovery has been a key part of the last couple of days and hopefully I am picked again for the weekend and ready to go.
“There is probably more to do off the field at these times to make sure that you are ready, as you never know when you are going to be called upon, so it is important that you look after yourself, when you are off the field or you are away from the training ground, because these next couple of weeks are going to be really demanding.
“We are going to need everyone; hopefully everyone can stay fit, which gives the manager a headache and on each game we can put a performance in and come out on top in the majority of the games.”
Saturday’s West Yorkshire opponents had a change of manager over the summer and DJ has been impressed by what he has seen of Carlos Corberán’s Terrier.
“I didn’t get to play against [Huddersfield Town] last year, I think I was injured for both games, but I have seen a couple of their games this season so far and they have looked really good.
“They have adapted this really high pressing system and I think it is going to be a really good game.
“From my personal point of view, when we play teams who try to high press us, we tend to play better and we hope that is the case on Saturday and we can get the result.
“We have [in the past] gone fire versus fire and see who can get the result and we have had some really tight games against teams that play like that and I am sure that on Saturday it will be the same again and hopefully we can edge it and come out on top.”
He enjoyed the win at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium in midweek and teaming up with Emil Riis to form the attacking prong of the Lilywhites’ forward line and feels he has plenty more to offer.
“A lot of lads have come in and they are all players who can easily slot in and keep the shirt. We have a really good squad. Anyone knows they could come in at any time and they all have to be ready and stay fit and be ready to go if you get the call.
“Emil has come in and I thought he did brilliantly [on Wednesday], he was unlucky not to score. It is always good when you have someone in front of you that can share the work.
“The manager gave us a task the other night and I thought that we executed it brilliantly.
“I think there is a lot more to come from him. I am sure, from what I have seen so far, that he is going to deliver; he is going to score a lot of goals and even if he doesn’t, he is going to have an impact on the games, like he did on Wednesday, I am more than confident he has a lot more to come,” he added.
You can watch the full interview by clicking on the video at the top of the page and remember you can sign up for an iFollow match pass for the fixture by clicking here now.