Daniel Johnson was pleased to send Preston North End fans home happy with a 3-1 victory at Barnsley as he described the Gentry Day occasion as a "special day" for everyone at the club.
The Jamaica international’s brace overturned Aiden March's early opener for the Tykes with Emil Riis later adding to the scoreline to seal a Gentry Day triumph for the Lilywhites.
The Lilywhites’ No.11 was pleased to put behind the disappointment of the last two matches – defeats at Fulham and Blackburn Rovers – behind them with a win in South Yorkshire.
He told iFollow PNE: “That’s what we spoke about, putting in a performance, after the disappointment of the last two games. It’s not been good enough.
“We spoke about starting on the front foot and then just doing whatever we can to get the win today and obviously we did that so hopefully we’ve been made them happy.
“It’s obviously never a good feeling when you go a goal behind, but we stuck to the game plan and moved the ball and stayed calm and tried to open them up as much as possible. We got the three goals and probably could have got more.”
The midfielder deputised at left wing back which arguably helped him into the goalscoring positions he found himself in to score his two goals.
Speaking about his preparation to play out of position, he continued: “It’s just been pretty much the same as normal really, just go out and give it your all. I knew from yesterday so I was trying to get my head around it and that’s what’s part and parcel of the game.
“You’ve been asked to do a job and you just go out and do everything you can to get the job done. We did that today.
“It’s just about understanding the role. It’s not something I’m used to. You’ve seen the likes of Ali McCann out there, Alan Browne play out there and obviously it’s not our preferred position but when you’re asked to do a job, you’ve got to do your best. Thankfully for us, it paid off today.”
When asked about the message of manager Ryan Lowe at the interval, with the score still level, DJ explained it was about waiting for the right time to punish their opponents – a strategy that paid dividends and could have led to even more goals, according to the midfielder.
Recounting the message from the coaching staff at half-time, he continued: “Just keep moving the ball, keep switching the ball, move it quickly and retain possession.
“As you can see today, we probably had 70-plus per cent possession in the first half. It was about moving it across the back line a lot quicker and when it was time to puncture them and play between the lines we did that.
“It could have ended up five or six really if we were more clinical, but we take the three goals, we take the three points and move on to the last game of the season.”
There were of course words of praise from DJ for the club’s travelling supporters, with around 2,000 North Enders inside Oakwell for the early kick-off on Gentry Day.
He concluded: “I think when you travel away from home and you get the support like we did today, it’s always a good feeling when you send them home happy and hopefully we sent them home a lot happier, it’s a Bank Holiday so hopefully everyone enjoys their weekend.
“It’s a special day for everyone within the football club. They’ve come here today and they’ve supported us and hopefully we’ve repaid them with the three points and everyone can go and enjoy their weekend now.”
Watch DJ's full interview on iFollow PNE.