DJ’s PNE’s No.1 hit

Daniel Johnson is PNE's leading goalscorer

Daniel Johnson is PNE's leading goalscorer

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Midfielder Daniel Johnson is enjoying his status as Preston North End’s leading scorer and aims to hit well into double figures this season.

The 23-year-old has bagged seven goals this term to add to the eight he got in the second half of last season after his bargain £50,000 signing from Aston Villa in January.

DJ’s latest strike came late in Saturday’s 2-0 derby win over Burnley at Turf Moor.

“If there’s any way I can help the team, I will do that,” Johnson told the Evening Post.

“The important thing is us getting three points and if my goals help us to do that, I’ll be pleased.

“I have got 15 goals since signing here and being on the scoresheet has always been something I have tried to do in my career.

“It was nice to score when I did at Burnley because it calmed us down and it was just a matter of seeing the game out after that.

“I was a lot closer in when I scored than I normally am – that is something which the gaffer has been encouraging me to do.

“He’s been talking about me getting into the box and getting a few tap-ins, it doesn’t always have to be the perfect goal.

“I have tended to score quite a few of my goals from outside the box but they all count wherever they come from.

“Joe Garner did well for me with the goal.

“With Joe being a striker, I expected him to shoot when he got into the box, but he pulled the ball back for me. A big thing from the Burnley game was another clean sheet, coming against a team who have scored plenty of goals.”

Johnson started scoring within a month of joining PNE at the start of year, netting in four successive games.

One of those, away at Oldham in February, he rates as being among the best.

Said Johnson: “My best goal so far? I’d probably say the one at Oldham last season but I liked the goal I scored down at Charlton in October.

“At the start of the season, I thought 15 goals would be good to aim for.

“I’ve got seven so far and I just want to keep scoring and helping the team.”

PNE return to Deepdale on Saturday to take on Reading, a side who sit 11th in the table and last week dismissed their manager Steve Clarke.

After good results on the road of late, Simon Grayson’s men will be looking to replicate that at home.

“We are all looking forward to the Reading game,” said Johnson.

“Yesterday we worked hard in training and will do that again as the week goes on.

“Reading have had some good results this season 
and have some really good players.

“However, we try and focus on ourselves and how we want to play, while at the same time being aware of what Reading will want to do.

“It will be nice to play at home after two away games.”