Exclusive Daniel Johnson column

I have scored four goals in my last four appearances for Preston, including this one against Oldham

I have scored four goals in my last four appearances for Preston, including this one against Oldham

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I can’t have too many complaints when I look back at my first month with Preston.

It was a great boost for me when the manager Simon Grayson made it known that he wanted to sign me from Aston Villa in the January transfer window.

My first appearance for the club at the end of January was not the best as we lost 2-1 at Crawley Town, but since then everything has gone well.

I have helped the team move to second in League One after a six-match unbeaten run, which has included five victories.

On a personal level, it has also been pleasing – I have managed to score in each of the last four games.

My goals have been quite similar – the first two were nice finishes after I arrived late in the box.

And the next two were shots from the edge of the box – you will have noted they were all hit with my trusty left foot!

People might think that is why I have been brought to the club – to get forward and chip in with some goals. I suppose that is true, I like to think I have goals in me – although the four goals in four games has even caught me a little by surprise.

I don’t think I have ever been on a run like this before but they seem to be flying in for me at the moment, so long may that continue.

The manager encourages me to get forward but he does not fill my head with too much.

He gives us little detailed information but when you’re on the pitch you try to do what comes naturally.

I know my team-mates, their strengths, and so luckily I have been able to get on the end of moves and score some goals

So it could not have gone much better really.

All the players have made me feel really welcome and I have settled in nicely.

I suppose it has helped that not long after I came on board, Callum Robinson re-signed for the club from Villa on loan.

Callum and I go way back. I signed for Villa at the age of 15 and I think he has been there since he was seven or eight. We have had a lot of years playing together in the junior ranks, so we have quite a good understanding which I think has been noticeable in the games we have played together for Preston.

I actually signed for Villa at the age of 15 after originally being attached to my local team Crystal Palace.

I played in an Under-16s match for Palace at Villa and I must have impressed because they asked if I would come back and play in a training game.

They then offered me a contract, which I did not really have any second thoughts about signing because Villa is a big club and the facilities are great there.

It was a wrench to leave Palace because that is another good club and they were great with me. I progressed well at Villa and was made captain of the reserve team.

We won the Premier League reserve division one year and I remember scoring a wonder strike against Manchester United once and they had players like Tom Cleverley, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling in their line-up.

I made the bench in the first team in a number of games but unfortunately never managed to get on the pitch.

The fact that I never managed to play in the first team at Villa was a big disappointment.

Obviously when you make the bench as a young lad, you’re happy and buzzing, but it gets to a point where you need to get on the pitch and see what it’s like.

Unfortunately for me it never happened for whatever reason.

I imagine everybody that has been in that position would say that they deserved a chance.

I felt like I could have made an impact or made a difference, but I’ve moved on now and everything is looking really good for me here.

The fact that I have signed a permanent deal here at Preston is great.

I had three really good loan spells – the first with Yeovil, when I was really young, and then with Chesterfield and Oldham.

The last two loan spells were really good – they were great for my development – but my move to Preston does feel a little bit different.

Hopefully, I can help the club push on and achieve promotion this year.

We have got a big game tomorrow against MK Dons.

The lads are buzzing and can’t wait for the game.

We think we can head down to MK Dons tomorrow and upset them on their own 
patch.