BRADLEY BE­LIEVES ROWETT CAN LEAD RAM RAID

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Char­lie Ben­nett

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

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