Preston North End player column: Daniel Johnson on the enjoyment of playing for club and country

After all this bad weather we’ve been having, it’s nice to think back a few weeks to when I was on international duty with Jamaica.

By Dave Seddon
Thursday, 24th February 2022, 4:45 pm

It was a bit different than normal because the games were played outside of an international break and it was the first time I’d gone away while Preston North End were still playing.

In that respect it was difficult leaving the lads behind, knowing they were still playing and training.

Another way to look at it was that I was able to take my focus away from club football and turn it on to international football, test myself in another way.

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Preston North End midfielder Daniel Johnson

While I was still playing and training, it was a different challenge mentally and I got a bit of time to recuperate.

It is always a proud moment when I get to play for Jamaica, the country where I was born and where I lived until I was seven.

We’ve got a good team and a good squad but what everyone has to realise is that we are a new team.

Results didn’t go how we wanted in the World Cup qualifiers and it will take the squad time to gel and understand how each other play.

The fortunate thing for us is that the majority of the squad play in England so that understanding might not take too long.

With our chance of going to the World Cup gone, we’ve got the Nations League starting in June and then it’s qualification for the Gold Cup next year.

During my time in Jamaica, I missed our games here against West Bromwich Albion, Bristol City and Millwall.

Because of the time difference it was a bit tricky to see them but I managed to watch the first two.

For the third, I literally couldn’t keep my eyes open because we’d been travelling and had the third game to play.

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I think all the Jamaica games coming up are being played during international breaks or the summer, so I won’t be missing Preston games.

As a team, we are going well at the moment and its enjoyable working under Ryan Lowe.

He’s managed to change a lot in quite a short space of time, given us a lot of information about how he wants us to play.

As a squad, we have taken that information on board well and it’s been enjoyable for the lads and myself.

Our consistency has got better, especially away from home, and we are just taking things game by game. It’s Coventry next and that is where our focus is.

I’m in an area of the pitch where there are a lot of options for the manager.

There’s Alan Browne, Ali McCann, Ryan Ledson and Ben Whiteman, and we are all different.

We all have different strengths and weaknesses, giving the manager the various options. Having been at Preston for quite a few years, the gaffer is the fourth manager I’ve worked under here.

During a career, it is important that you take things from every manager you have and piece that together.

Every manager will have taught you something, helped you to improve.

It is about taking those little gems of information and piecing them together.

Daniel Johnson was talking to Dave Seddon