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First Team News

DJ Ready To Put Everything On The Line In Derby

21 October 2021

First Team News

DJ Ready To Put Everything On The Line In Derby

21 October 2021

Daniel Johnson knows he and his team-mates need to “put everything on the line” when they face Blackpool this weekend.

It’s the first meeting between the sides since 2013, and the first in the league since 2010, so it’s one that the majority of the North End squad haven’t experienced before, including DJ himself.

Speaking to iFollow PNE, he said: “Obviously if I get selected it will be a great moment for myself after being here for so many years and I’ve heard however many stories about how important this game is.

“When we say take every game one game at a time, I think with this particular game you’ve literally got to put everything on the line really, bragging rights and everything else that comes with it.

“We’ve just got to go out there and just do what we do. If we can go out there and put that performance on that we did last night [against Coventry] on Saturday then I’m sure we’ll have no issues.”

Johnson has featured in many derbies during his time with the club, against the likes of Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic.

However, he feels this game is on another level to those, and he has been made well aware of that since his arrival in 2015.

Daniel added: “With all the build-up, all the talk around it, people have been talking about this game since the fixtures came out, and I hear about it all the time, so to finally participate in one this weekend [will be great].

"Hopefully I get selected; I can’t wait to be honest.

“Even the atmosphere and everything on the way to the game, I’ve heard a lot of stories about going to the game itself so I can’t wait.

“With the players that have been here for such a long time, we know what derby day comes with at this football club.

“But I feel like this one in particular is bigger than the Wigan, Blackburn, Bolton games, so we’re all looking forward to it and hopefully we can get one up on them.”

Another man who has had a key part to play in previous derby successes is Alan Browne, who on Wednesday evening became the 27th man in Preston North End history to make 300 appearances for the club.

The Irishman has been at Deepdale for the entirety of Johnson’s time in Lancashire, and he had some kind words to say for his skipper.

“Al’s brilliant, he’s fantastic,” he said. “He’s a brilliant captain, a brilliant person on and off the field, and I’ve only got good words to say about him.

“That’s someone that I’ve grown with since we were young men and now we’re older men, we’ve got kids.

“He’s a brilliant role model and he’s our captain. Sometimes we all look at him as if to say well ‘Al what’s the plan?’ kind of thing. He always has the answer.

"What an achievement, 300 games for this football club. Not many players can actually say in their career that they’ve played 300 games for one football club so it’s a brilliant achievement.”

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