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Interviews

Johnson: I've always been the person who wants to lead and help others

Stanley defender Callum Johnson previews this Saturday's game against Tranmere Rovers

5 March 2020

Accrington Stanley defender Callum Johnson knows that the Reds will have to take the game to Tranmere Rovers in order to grind out the win on Saturday afternoon.

The Reds have lost Mark Hughes through injury, and Johnson is aware that the centre-back's experience will be a big loss for the team.

"Mark's obviously a good player but he brings experience and knowledge of the game as well, and he's helped me a lot.

"It leaves a space for someone to come in and we have still got a lot of experience in the back four.

"Me and Ross Sykes have played a lot of football and we need to try and use our experience to do what Mark does, and pass it onto the younger lads in the squad."

The full-back has made over a century of appearances for the Reds since joining in 2017, and he admits that playing regular football has been pivotal to his development.

"I've played over 100 games now so it's gone perfectly with the promotion as well.

"My main target was to play as many games as I could and I've done that, and I think I've improved as a player as well.

"Hopefully the younger players will do the same as I've done, there's nothing like playing games in football because that's the most important thing."

At only 23-years-old Johnson is one of the more experienced players within the squad, but he explained that the pressure is one that he enjoys.

"I can remember when I first came in and I had a lot of experienced players helping me, I'm in there position now where I've got to pass my experience onto the younger lads coming in.

"Experience and knowledge in football is massive because I know I'm in a position where I've got to perform and I've got to help others perform as well, it's a big pressure but it's a pressure that I enjoy.

"I was captain when I was younger so I've always been the person who wants to lead and help others, and hopefully I can bring that forward now."

The Yarm-born defender came through the ranks at Middlesbrough and he thinks that young footballers also have to have the correct personality in order to succeed as a professional.

"There are players who are given everything, I was given everything or most things at Middlesbrough but I came here and learned that it's not like that and you have to do it yourself.

"It's partly to do with how they're brought up at their clubs but it's also to do with the personality, and if you want it enough then you'll go out and do it yourself and have the right attitude which will help you perform."

Next up for Stanley is the visit of Tranmere Rovers and Johnson is aware that they may have to grind out a win on Saturday afternoon.

"They'll try and turn it into that kind of game and we need to do what we can to play our style of football.

"Sometimes you can't help the way a game goes due to conditions or the opposition, but all we can do is try and put our game to them.

"We have proved that we can do that and we can grind out wins as well."


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