Daniel Johnson thinks Preston can take plenty of positives from the pre-season build-up into the campaign’s opener against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.
Johnson was on target from the penalty spot in the 5-1 win at Fleetwood Town on Friday night, the second-half performance especially a strong finish to the programme of friendly games.
North End have a clear midweek at Springfields to fine-tune things ready for the Owls’ visit to Deepdale.
“The Fleetwood win was a brilliant way to go into the week of the first Championship game,” DJ told the Post.
“It was a good result and a good performance.
“The performance in the second half was very good, we got to grips with the play quite quickly.
“We put Fleetwood on the back foot, got space to play and passed it around very well.
“A lot of chances came our way and to score five goals was very pleasing.
“We’ve got a few days on the training ground to work on a few things.
“All the focus now is on the first game of the season and it is a big one against a very good team in Sheffield Wednesday.
“They are coming to our home ground and hopefully we can take the game to them rather than them coming here and dictating the game.
“I would think they are one of the favourites to get into the play-offs again this season but on our day, we are a good side and a match for anyone.”
Johnson will be pushing for a place in the starting XI against Wednesday.
He’s had a good pre-season, getting plenty of game time in the friendlies – both in a deeper midfield role and in the No.10 position behind the striker.
His game could well be one that gets a boost from Alex Neil’s style of play.
“We have worked hard on getting the ball down and passing it,” said Johnson.
“As a squad I think we have adapted really well to what the manager wants and that work will continue.
“As the season goes on we will be working on different things.”
Johnson’s penalty in the victory at Fleetwood was his first goal of pre-season.
A friendly or not, he was pleased to see it hit the back of the net.
“It was about hitting the target to start with – if that happens, you have a decent chance of scoring,” said DJ.
“The keeper managed to get a hand to it but I had put enough pace on the ball to take it past him.”