In-form Bradley Johnson keen for Derby County to maintain play-off place

Bradley Johnson scored his first goal of the season on Saturday.
Bradley Johnson scored his first goal of the season on Saturday.

Bradley Johnson says it is important for Derby County to kick on and maintain their top six place for the remainder of the season.

Johnson was speaking after the 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, during which he scored his first goal of the season which added to his impressive display against Wigan four days earlier.

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And with Stoke City the visitors to Pride Park on Wednesday, Johnson wants the momentum from those two unbeaten games to continue.

He told RamsTV “It was a hard-fought point for us. We felt that we weren’t at our best today, coming off the back of a great performance on Tuesday night against Wigan.

“We started slowly before getting the goal and then finished the game strongly. I think Tuesday maybe had a bit of a bearing on our physical presence. Sheffield Wednesday are a good team, so it was a good point at the end of the day.”

On his goal, Johnson added: “I didn’t know it was coming to me, I don’t know who got the flick on at the near post.

“I was unlucky on Tuesday not to get a goal from another set piece. We have been working on them a lot this week and it was just coming to me at the back post and I guided it into the top corner.

“I felt that the longer the game went on the stronger we got. We had a few chances.

“I felt if there was another ten minutes we would have got another goal. It wasn’t to be today, and we take the point. That’s all that matters for us at this point in the season, we want to get the win and the three points."

Having got back into the top six, beating Stoke on Wednesday now becomes a priority ahead of a two-week break in matches.

Johnson said: "That’s where we want to be. If you asked us at the beginning of the season where we wanted to finish it would be in the automatics or the play-offs. We are there now and have another home game on Wednesday and we look forward to that and a chance to get more points on the board.

“Off the back of the run we were on before the Wigan game, it was vital for us to get the win then.

“We did that, and we have come again at home and put in a half-decent performance. We could have been better – we have got to do that on Wednesday night to hopefully get the three points.”