BRADLEY BELIEVES ROWETT CAN LEAD RAM RAID
BRADLEY Johnson knows a good manager when he plays under one, and the Derby County midfielder believes Rams boss Gary Rowett is one of the best around.
Rowett steered Birmingham to just outside the top six before his inexplicable sacking in December.
And he has done equally well at Derby, though their late-season form has not been enough to catapult them into the play-off race.
But the experienced Johnson is looking ahead to next season and says there is already a high level of excitement over where Rowett can take them.
“I like his ideas and the way he is setting us up,” said the 30-year-old. “I’m enjoying playing under him.
“I always want to play games. Managers change in football and I’ve had a lot of managers in my time.
“But I know if I work hard and always give 100 per cent, I’ve got an opportunity of keeping the shirt.
“I think I’ve played well under the new manager so far. We had a good run but then got beaten at Brentford, which was nowhere near our standards.
“The manager has changed a lot and I think the lads have done well. I’m really excited for next season.”
Rowett is expected to alter things drastically this summer, with plenty of new recruits on the horizon. Johnson knows the current crop need to prove themselves worthy of a place next term.
“It’s down to us to keep our shirts and put in performances to make sure we’re in his ideas for next season,” he added. “He’s looking for the future – and so are we.
“Hopefully, I can look forward to a good pre-season under him and start again next year.”
Two players staying put are striker Darren Bent, 33, and defender Chris Baird, 35. The Rams have taken up one-year options on their contracts.
PRAISE: Bradley Johnson