Double figure aim for Johnson

Preston North End's Daniel Johnson celebrates scoring his side's winning goal ''against Reading
Preston North End's Daniel Johnson celebrates scoring his side's winning goal ''against Reading
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Daniel Johnson is targeting a move into double figures after being Preston’s match winner in their clash with Reading at the Madejski Stadium.

The midfielder found the net in the 91st minute to give PNE a 2-1 victory – their eighth away win of the season.

Jermaine Beckford had put North End in front 10 minutes into the second half, only for Stephen Quinn to net an 86th minute equaliser.

Step forward Johnson to end a 15-game run without a goal and take his tally for the season to nine.

The former Aston Villa man now hopes to add to that tally against Leeds on the final day of the season at Deepdale.

Johnson said: “I set myself a target of 10 goals so hopefully I can reach that next week if I’m picked.

“It was nice to score and it coming so late in the game made it a bit more special.

“Credit to Adam Reach for setting me up, he got down the left, used his skill to beat his man and pulled the ball back for me.

“I just showed a little bit of composure, took a touch and put it into the back of the net.

“I knew I had enough time to take a touch, if I didn’t I would have taken it first time.

“It wouldn’t have been a problem had I needed to shoot first time because I like the pressure of that.

“We always fight until the end of a game, in our eyes a game is never over until the final whistle.

“Even when they equalised near the end, we got ourselves together and went back at them.

“If we had come out of the game without the win, it would have been so disappointing.

“We played really well and created so many chances.”

North End had bossed the first half against the Royals, getting sight of goal a number of times.

However, a combination of wasteful finishing and some inspired goalkeeping from Reading keeper Ali Al Habsi kept them at bay.

Said Johnson: “It was a good game to play in, one of our best performances for quite a while.

“We went in at half-time and felt we should have at least two or three goals in front.

“In the first half we had some really good chances, I had one, Becks had one, then Calum Woods went really close.

“We came out determined for the second half and made the breakthrough.

“It was a good finish from Becks and it is really good to have him back.

“He has been a big miss for us, that said, other lads have contributed well when he’s been out injured.

“It was disappointing to concede the equaliser but we still had something left.

“I liked scoring in front of our supporters and being able to celebrate with them.

“It was a long trip for them but they travelled in their numbers.

“They have been all over the country to watch us this season and it was nice to win the last away game.

“That is eight away wins for us which we are really pleased with.

“We are very difficult to beat when we play away, the manager sets us up so that it is difficult for teams to break us down.

“At the other end of the pitch, we have the freedom to play and do that side of the game going forward.

“Overall, it has been a very good season for us.

“We were new to the league but have adapted well and are in a decent position.”