Johnson demands instant response

Date published: 18 August 2014

“GO OUT and make something happen” is the instruction Lee Johnson is giving his players ahead of tomorrow’s home game against Port Vale.

Athletic’s manager was dismayed by the way his men “fizzled out” to lose 3-1 at home to Leyton Orient, despite taking the lead through Jonathan Forte’s third goal of the season.

Johnson would like to bring in another two or three players to boost his options — but isn’t hedging his bets that new arrivals will be in place by tomorrow.

What he is sure of is that after only two Sky Bet League One games, there’s no need to panic.

“We are all disappointed and it was a good display in the first half,” said Johnson, who expects to have right-back Brian Wilson available again for the Vale game. “We fizzled out in the second half. It wasn’t fitness, but experience on how to affect a game.

“That is what happens here. You can have youth and quality in abundance, but what you can’t get is the whole package. So we are going to have games like that.

“It isn’t a disaster. We have played two games and have got a point out of them. But we need to go out tomorrow and make sure something happens.”

Johnson is threatening to make changes for the next game. Genseric Kusunga, Danny Philliskirk, James Dayton and William Gros could be called into the side.

Summer recruit Amari Morgan-Smith was set to step up his return to fitness by resuming full training this morning.

“Looking at it, we need another two or three players,” Johnson added. “Whether we can get them is another story.”

ATHLETIC will face Bradford City in the first round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

The tie will be played at Park on the week beginning Monday, September 1.

TOMASZ Kuszczak is training with Athletic . . . but only as a favour.

Former Manchester United and England star Paul Scholes called manager Lee Johnson to ask if the former Red Devils goalkeeper could join the club’s sessions.

Kuszczak (32), who made 56 appearances for the Old Trafford outfit until two years ago, departed Brighton in the summer and has yet to find himself another home.
“Scholesy asked if we could do him a favour,” Johnson explained. “He (Kuszczak) has trained and has shown a fantastic personality. He is a really good goalkeeper and an old-school character.

“It has been nice and I have enjoyed having him around, but it is not one to get excited about.”