Daniel Johnson puts fond Aston Villa memories to one side as he bids to help Preston North End to Deepdale victory

Daniel Johnson scores from the penalty spot in Preston's 3-3 draw at Villa Park
Daniel Johnson scores from the penalty spot in Preston's 3-3 draw at Villa Park

Daniel Johnson says his fond memories of coming through the ranks at Aston Villa are firmly in the past as he bids to help Preston North End to three points on Saturday.

The Lilywhites have lost their last two and are looking to end the year on a high at Deepdale.

With Callum Robinson injured, Johnson will fly the flag on Saturday for PNE’s former Villa pair when their former club come to town looking to make a move towards the Championship play-off places.

While Villa gave him a good grounding in the game, North End’s No.11 insists he has found the perfect environment for himself at Deepdale.

“I loved every minute of my time at Villa to be honest,” said Johnson, who signed a new PNE contract until the summer of 2021 earlier in the season.

“I’ve no regrets or anything like that.

“I’ve kind of that put that behind me though. You can’t look back on what’s happened in the past you can only look forwards.

“I’ve got it in the back of my mind but I’m enjoying my football at the moment and I’m enjoying being here, being around the lads and working with the staff.”

The dramatic 3-3 draw between the sides at Villa Park at the start of October was the start of the run that saw PNE pull clear of the wrong end of the Championship table.

It also spelled the end for Steve Bruce with former Brentford boss Dean Smith the man in the visiting dugout at a packed Deepdale this weekend.

“I’ve spoken one of their boys that I was there with and he said the new manager has come in and changed a few things,” said Johnson.

“They are a big club with a big fanbase behind them.

“It will be good that they are bringing more than 5,500 fans and that means the stadium is going to be bouncing and it’s going to be loud.

“Hopefully our fans can be a bit louder than them and really get behind us.”