Johnston: Focused And Positive

George Johnston reiterated the focus of the Wanderers’ squad as the fight for the Sky Bet League One play-offs continues.

Ian Evatt’s side goes into the final two games of the campaign with their destiny in their own hands, knowing victories against Fleetwood Town and Bristol Rovers will secure their place in the end-of-season play-offs.

With Saturday’s visit of Fleetwood Town ending a hectic April for Wanderers - a month that has seen just one defeat and a Papa John’s Trophy win at Wembley in seven games - the schedule has been a testing one.

But Johnston insists the mood in the camp is an upbeat one as Wanderers look to bounce back from a rare recent blip in mid-week against Accrington Stanley which still leaves them fifth in the table and ahead of Derby County and Peterborough United in the play-off race.

“We’ve moved on from it quite quickly,” said the defender.  “It was a tough one to take considering how the game went but we did have quite a few opportunities to win the game.

“We’ve got to remind ourselves of how good we are and that we are in this position for a reason – and that’s because we have been very good for the whole season. We’ve got to remind ourselves of that and go again Saturday.

“The two teams chasing us would much rather be in our position. So, we have the upper hand and got to use that to our advantage and go into both games as positive as possible.”

Despite a mid-season injury that sidelined Johnston for a run of games from the end of January, it has been another season of impressive progression for the 24-year old with 41 appearances for Wanderers in all competitions.

And having made his return at Wembley, the central defender is happy to be back amongst the group and playing games again.

“It’s been tough physically (this last month of games) but there’s nothing more enjoyable than being on the pitch and playing alongside your mates,” Johnston added.

“It’s been demanding but enjoyable at the same time. I think the lads have coped with it quite well. Obviously we’ve had a few injuries – but the lads who have stepped in have done really well to keep us on the right track. I’ve really enjoyed it and I’m just happy to be back now.”

Wanderers are now looking to secure their top-six place with positive results against Fleetwood and Bristol Rovers and Johnston believe the fans will also continue to have a big part to play as Evatt’s men look to respond to their first defeat in eight games and get the points they need.

“It sounds simple, but these teams are in League One for a reason – they’re good teams,” he said.

“But they’re winnable games and with the position we’re in, we’re full of confidence to go into them and get two wins. We’re not looking at what other teams are doing and we are just focusing on ourselves.

“The fans have been massive for us this year – the attendances have grown week on week and we’re very thankful for their support. Hopefully, that can continue.

“It’s weird to think the season ends in 10 days but for us, it doesn’t feel like that. It feels a long way away and that’s our goal - to have another four weeks of football, five more games and five wins.”


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