Preston North End’s Daniel Johnson can’t wait for reunion with old pal Callum Robinson
Preston North End midfielder Daniel Johnson is looking forward to being reunited with old pal Callum Robinson later this month.
The pair are due to face one another on February 25 when PNE face West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns.
Robinson was sold by the Lilywhites to Sheffield United last summer in an £8m deal.
But in January he joined the Baggies on loan for the rest of the season after seeing his first-team chances dry up.
If Johnson and Robinson do play in the game a week on Tuesday, it would be only the second time they have been on opposite sides.
Johnson, 27, said: “It is a good move for Callum to go to West Bromwich Albion.
“Things didn’t really work out for him at Sheffield United but that is part and parcel of the game. I hope he has a good loan spell and gets a lot of game time there.
“At the start of the season Callum played quite a lot for Sheffield United but then he got ill and missed games.
“Since then he didn’t play as much and that is why he decided to go out on loan.
“That can happen, you get ill or get an injury and someone comes in to take your place.
“Hopefully Callum will do well at Albion although obviously not against us.”
The only time Johnson and Robinson have been in opposition was more than five years.
It came on the night Robinson made his North End debut after signing on a youth loan from Aston Villa in September 2014.
Johnson was in the Chesterfield side which battled back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3.
“That’s the only time I have played against him,” said Johnson.
“Callum had just come here and I was playing for Chesterfield on loan.
“We were both on loan from Aston Villa and then we were team-mates here for a long time.”
North End boss Alex Neil felt Johnson took Robinson under his wing at Deepdale.
And since Robinson left, Johnson has helped fill the void on the goalscoring front.
Said Neil: “DJ and Callum were best mates here.
“I wouldn’t really call DJ a father figure, more of an uncle figure to Callum – he sort of looked after him.
“This season DJ has looked at what Callum did and thought there is no reason why he can’t kick on.
“He has become a leader in the changing room, more so by his performances.”