Johnson shines in Preston victory

PNE boss Simon Grayson
PNE boss Simon Grayson
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Preston North End manager Simon Grayson praised the performance of midfielder Daniel Johnson in Tuesday night’s victory over Peterborough United at Deepdale.

Johnson shone in the 2-0 win, scoring the first goal in the 37th minute before having a hand in the second which Jermaine Beckford tucked away nine minutes from time.

He has now scored five goals since a £50,000 move from Aston Villa in January.

Grayson said: “We needed someone to cover the ground in the middle of the pitch and glide across the surface.

“When Daniel gets going he is very difficult to deal with.

“Some players can be quick but not quick when running with the ball.

“Daniel has the speed, he covers the ground and has that sense of balance where he can change direction, he’s composed when he sees a pass as well.

“That is why we brought him to the club, we knew he could improve us.”

“I saw a lot of quality in him when he played for Chesterfield and Oldham on loan.

“We knew he could be something different, we didn’t have that earlier in the season.

“Daniel just loves playing football, the kid would still be out there now if he got the opportunity.

“He has settled in very quickly, helped that he knew a couple of lads before he signed.

“Remember he’s still only 22 and moving to a new area away from friend and family can be difficult.”

Grayson felt that North End coped well with a hard-working Posh side who had four games on the bounce under caretaker manager Dave Robertson prior to their visit to Deepdale.

He said: “We felt it was going to be a tight game because we knew how well Peterborough were doing.

“They have gone back to basics a bit and play quite long and direct down the sides of you.

“A couple of times in the first half we were a bit caught in no-man’s land.

“We tweaked a few things at half-time and were better for it in the second half.”

“All round it was a very satisfying night with three points, two goals and a clean sheet.