Latics boss salutes team’s backroom boys

Date published: 01 May 2014

LEE Johnson has praised the impact of his assembled backroom team after being nominated for the Sky Bet League One manager of the month award.

Athletic’s manager is up against Nigel Clough of Sheffield United, Peterborough’s Darren Ferguson and Kenny Jackett of champions Wolves for the April prize.

Having pulled clear of relegation danger and with a finish as high as 13th a possibility, Johnson feels the expertise he has gathered for his backroom has been of real benefit.

That includes Tommy Wright, who returned to the club in mid-February on a short-term deal.

“I have enjoyed working with him. We have to sit down now and see the way forward,” Johnson said.

“Think of the upheaval we have had this year: Paul Gerrard left on the eve of pre-season training, Bobby Mimms came in and then left halfway through as well.”

Paul Murray and fitness coach Lee Steele are also on hand to add their knowledge to the pool - strength in numbers for Johnson, who cut an isolated figure last summer.

“I feel much better placed this year,” he added. “Last year I was literally on my own. Everyone had gone. Now we have a team together. It can only be a good thing.”

As of this morning, Notts County had sold 3,200 tickets for their visit to Boundary Park on Saturday - so Johnson is understandably keen that Athletic supporters turn up in large numbers and good voice.

“I want our crowd to really go for the jugular and help us try to send a team down, without being too disrespectful,” Johnson said. “You have got to be ruthless.