DJ back with Preston after international duty with Jamaica

Frankie McAvoy is pleased to have welcomed midfielder Daniel Johnson back to the Preston North End squad after his international duty on the other side of the Atlantic.

Saturday, 31st July 2021, 6:00 am

Johnson reported back to Euxton on Thursday morning after spending a month with the Jamaica squad at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The Reggae Boyz reached the quarter finals where they lost 1-0 to the United States who are hosting the tournament.

They had finished second in their group, beating Suriname and Guadeloupe, and losing to group winners Costa Rica.

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Daniel Johnson in action for Jamaica

Johnson flew off to join up with Jamaica in Orlando a few days before pre-season started at North End.

In effect, the 28-year-old’s pre-season has been done at the Gold Cup.

North End head coach McAvoy told the Lancashire Post: “Getting the opportunity to play for Jamaica at the Gold Cup in America was a great chance for DJ.

“It was a chance for him to train and play matches at a big tournament. Hopefully that will work out well for him and for us.

“DJ went away right at the beginning of pre-season, just before we started in fact.

“He’s been away about four weeks and it was good to get him back this week and see how he was.

“We’ve had the physio and sports scientists assess him and we’ve dipped him into training.”

Since taking charge at Deepdale, McAvoy has only been able to call on the services of Johnson once, that his first game against Norwich.

A calf injury ruled DJ out after that and it was decided to allow him fully to recover rather than rushing him back at the end of the season.

“The last time DJ played for us was on Good Friday against Norwich,” said McAvoy.

“He is a creative player and a very good player. A couple of years ago he had a great season and it is a case of re-finding those great bits

“DJ will be a big player going forward for us, there is no doubt about that.”

Meanwhile, North End were left stunned when their pre-season friendly against Manchester United fell foul to Covid-19.

They were due to host the Red Devils at Deepdale today but positive Covid tests in the visitors squad led to the game being cancelled.

PNE got the call from United at 7pm on Thursday evening to say safety protocol meant the game could not go ahead.

It is understood that tests were routinely done at United after their friendly against Brentford on Wednesday.

Some of those results were positive and that put paid to their visit to Deepdale.

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