Preston North End's Gentry Day ace was told of change of position in breakfast-time chat ahead of Barnsley clash

Daniel Johnson’s breakfast-time chat with Ryan Lowe formed the foundations of Preston North End’s Gentry Day win at Barnsley.

By Dave Seddon
Monday, 2nd May 2022, 8:00 am

Lilywhites manager Lowe moved Johnson from midfield to the left wing-back position for the Oakwell clash and saw the Jamaica international score twice in a 3-1 victory.

Emil Riis found the net for PNE's third, with the Dane on 19 goals for the season heading into the final day clash with Middlesbrough at Deepdale on Saturday, a game Boro need to win to give them a chance of making the play-offs.

Lowe told the Lancashire Post: “On Thursday in training we did a bit of shape and then I had a chat with DJ over breakfast at the training ground on Friday morning.

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Preston North End midfielder Daniel Johnson enjoys the Gentry Day win at Barnsley

"I asked him if he could us a favour because I know wing-back is not his position – he’s a very good No.8.

"He thought I was taking the mickey at first but we wanted to work it with him and Ali McCann interchanging down that side.

"Sometimes Ali went on the outside, sometimes on the inside, because his energy levels are so good.

"Then in the second half it worked tremendously with Alan Browne moving to that side and linking with DJ.

Preston North End players observe a minute’s silence before the match at Oakwell in remembrance of PNE and Barnsley fans who are no longer with us

"They all caused Barnsley a lot of problems and DJ scored two goals.

"Afterwards he did ask ‘Is that me stuck there’ but I had no. It was a case of asking a player of his calibre to put a shift in so we could get loads of joy down that side of the pitch.

"It paid off and I thought DJ was fantastic. He can play anywhere because he’s a very good footballer.”

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Johnson being on the left enabled McCann to get a midfield start – the former St Johnstone man has often had to play wide if Johnson and Browne are in the starting XI.

Suffice to say, Lowe was delighted with that McCann produced over the 90 minutes.

"We worked on some drive and slide, get the eights overlapping with the wing-backs,” said Lowe.

"Ali gave us everything out there, his play was very good.”

Lowe revealed he had to substitute Patrick Bauer after the centre-half was sick at half-time, with former Barnsley man Bambo Diaby replacing him from the bench.