Exclusive Daniel Johnson PNE column
Our late goal at Hull which gave us victory shows how much determination there is within the squad.
As a group of players, we trust and believe in each other and will fight to the end no matter what.
I was looking back at the stats from the game and they showed the amount of effort we put in and the running we did over the 90 minutes.
For me, it was a deserved win and I’m sure plenty of other people will agree with that view.
When Callum Robinson’s goal went in, you could see what it meant to us and how important three points were.
Hull can be a difficult place to go if you allow them to get into their groove.
We got the lead and had a game-plan which I thought we stuck to well.
Conceding soon after the interval was disappointing and there was a spell in the second half when Hull had a good patch.
We stayed strong though, pushed on and got the late winner in the way we did.
To have three players in the box trying to meet the cross from Daryl Horgan in the 88th minute, shows how much we wanted it.
As a team we are in good shape and in good form and long may that continue.
The manager has come in and been brilliant with us, added some different things to what we do.
We have taken all that on board and with the results we’ve got, the benefits are there to see.
I’m enjoying the role I play in the side.
The manager has given me the freedom to express myself and play, something he does with all the boys.
He has expectations of us but there is no particular pressure from him.
My type of game is to build and get us playing, that is what I enjoy doing.
I’m happy if I’m doing that, playing my part that way.
When you’ve got John Welsh or Ben Pearson next to you in midfield, they give you the licence to push forward because they can stay a bit deeper.
I’m looking to get my name on the scoresheet a bit more often, having got two for the season to date.
The one I scored against Birmingham the other week was quite a special moment with my Aston Villa past.
I’d scored there the year before too, and hopefully the goals can continue coming.
In the team we have a lot of goal-threats, when you think we have Jordan Hugill, Sean Maguire, Josh Harrop and Tom Barkhuizen.
Callum got his goal at Hull and Alan Browne hit that great one against Cardiff.
As a team, we would like to score a few more from set-pieces but that will come with the more work we do on the training ground.
We play Sunderland this weekend and that brings our old gaffer Simon Grayson back here.
The majority of the squad signed for Preston when he was manager, so obviously there will be a lot of focus on his return.
A change of manager is part and parcel of football and we had it in the summer.
Simon Grayson took an opportunity which he felt he needed to take to better his career.
Our focus is on us and that is how we will approach the game on Saturday.
Sunderland are struggling for points but we know it will be a tough game.
We will treat this game like any other, in that we work hard and try to impose ourselves on the opposition.
So far we have grasped what the new gaffer wants from us and the aim is to do that every week.
What has always been a big part of our game is the work-rate.
The gaffer has spoken a few times about the amount of running we do in games and what distances we have covered.
A high work-rate is the starting point in any game, whoever you are. It is about making sure you don’t leave anything out there on the pitch.
You don’t want to come back into the dressing room at full-time thinking, ‘I could have given more or done a bit better’.
It is all about giving your all, running that bit extra to help the team.
Sometimes you might not get the result you want but it shouldn’t be for the want of trying.
You do come off the pitch at the end with nothing left in your legs and that is a good sign.
Afterwards it is a case of doing the right recovery and then getting your mind on the next challenge.
The games come quickly in the Championship and you have to be ready to move on to the next one.
You do your work on the training pitch and listen to what the gaffer wants.