DJ's in the hit parade again
Daniel Johnson hopes he is up and running for the season in terms of his goalscoring from Preston's midfield.
The 24-year-old’s goal in the 2-2 draw at Birmingham a fortnight ago was his first of the campaign.
He had drawn blanks in his previous 10 appearances but before that, had found the net quite regularly in PNE colours.
Johnson told the Evening Post: “Hopefully I can get a few more goals in the games coming up.
“Since I signed here, my scoring record has been quite good and it is one of my strengths.
“It was nice to score against Birmingham and the most important thing is that our form has improved.
“We have started to get the results which our performances have deserved.
“The break over the last few days has allowed us to get some rest and do work on the training ground, ready for the next run of games.
“We play four of the teams up at the top of the table so the games will be tough.
“But we know what we are capable of and have shown that in recent games.”
It has been something of a stop-start season for Johnson to date, – he was named on the bench for four of the games last month.
He returned to the starting XI at Birmingham, keeping his place for the 2-0 victory over Aston Villa.
Johnson’s performance in the centre of midfield against former club Villa, certainly captured the eye.
“The games against Villa were the ones I had looked out for when the fixtures came out in the summer,” said Johnson.
“I was delighted to be involved and the team did so well that day.
“We had a lot of energy and spirit about us, we scored twice in the first half then kept strong and compact.
“In the second half, we knew that Villa would have the ball for the majority of the time but we limited them.
“At the end of the game, I appreciated what the Villa fans did by applauding Callum Robinson and myself.
“Villa are going through a tough patch at the moment but they have a good set of fans.”
North End resume action after the international break at Brighton on Saturday..
Some of the squad played in a practice game at Burnley last Thursday, PNE winning 1-0 thanks to an Eoin Doyle goal.
A similar side will face Fleetwood’s development squad today.
Preston’s first-team coach Steve Thompson said: “We have been having a close look at fitness levels and the amount of minutes which the lads have been playing recently.
“We got quite a few of the lads 90 minutes at Burnley last week – that will have done them good because you cannot replicate that in training.
“We’ve got another game at Fleetwood today which will be the same sort of team.
“Playing these games isn’t a punishment, they are a way of the lads getting into the gaffer’s mind, showing him what they can do.”