Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe 'disappointed' with Daniel Johnson departure but ran out of patience for Josh Onomah deal

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Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe was disappointed to lose vice captain Daniel Johnson, who decided to leave at the end of his contract this summer, but ran out of patience waiting for Josh Onomah.

Johnson ended his eight-and-a-half years at Deepdale at the end of last month, opting not to sign a new contract with Preston although all out of contract players, bar one, were offered new deals this summer.

The Jamaica is said to want a new challenge after spending most of his career in PR1 after a £50,000 switch from Aston Villa in 2015, and Lowe has no ill feeling on that front.

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He said: “I'm disappointed with DJ only because he became a friend and a likeable, loveable lad and I love him to pieces. I wish we could have continued the journey and I wish he could have continued his tenure here and seen out his testimonial but I respect his decision and I've got so much respect for him.

Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe gives instructions to Daniel Johnson from the technical areaPreston North End manager Ryan Lowe gives instructions to Daniel Johnson from the technical area
Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe gives instructions to Daniel Johnson from the technical area

"He wants a new challenge and wherever that may be, I wish him and his family all the best. He's a top lad and he goes down as a legend of the football club.

"On a personal note, I am disappointed but on a football note, he has to do what he feels is best for him and we have to respect that. It was tough to take because of the relationship you have with him and the players. But players come and go, managers and coaches come and go, we have to just make sure it's right by us and we wish him all the best.”

Onomah’s departure from North End sits a little differently with Lowe, with agreements in place for the former Fulham man to remain at Deepdale.

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The 25-year-old joined on a free transfer in January on a short term deal and it took a while for the creative midfielder to get close to match fitness for the Lilywhites. He featured fleetingly towards the end of the campaign but showed glimpses that he was worth keeping around beyond the summer.

But when complications arose in the negotiations, Lowe and PNE decided instead to move on to other targets, with an agreement on new terms now looking unlikely for Onomah.

Lowe said: “In terms of Josh, Josh is a bit different. We agreed everything with Josh, we agreed everything with DJ really he just opted for a new challenge, there weren't any stumbling blocks he just wanted a new challenge.

"With Josh it was a little bit awkward because of things that I don't really want to say. He'd agreed a contract and he'd agreed the wages and it was pulled by me and Peter because I wanted it to be done sooner rather than later.

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"There were a few complications that we'll keep to ourselves but who knows, you just never know in football. At this moment in time, we've got to look beyond him.

“We definitely have moved on from it unless something drastically changes but that is out of our hands. I'm one that if you go against us and you don't want to be with us, I'm not saying that's Josh's case personally, but then we move on, I'm done.

"We've moved on, we've got other targets and we'll wait to see if we can get a hold of them.

"Whoever comes first, they're all good players, our targets, and we want to get them through the door so we can start building with them and working with be what we want them to be.

"Ultimately it's about them wanting to come to Preston North End. Not just for me and the way we are, but for the football club and the fans because it's important we get the right people.”