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Johnson: Plans in Place For Next Season

16 April 2015

Reds Head Coach Lee Johnson has said plans are well underway for next season ahead of his side's final three home games of the campaign.

Peterborough arrive at Oakwell on Saturday for the Reds' penultimate home game of the campaign, and Johnson says it's a chance to people to see a glimpse of the future.

"We're quite positive, there's a couple of players I'd like to see," he said. "There are some who have impressed me and some I'd like to see. Not just the younger lads but some of the senior pros as well. I'll be looking forward to putting a team out that the fans will come down and see what we're about for next year.

"What we have done is got our recruitment team in place and we're ready. Last year it sounded like a bit of a scramble in pre-season. I want to go into the season with my squad in place. Maybe little sprinkles of genius at the back end of it, but I do want is those winning type of mentality players coming in early.

"We're going to be quite ruthless this year. There are a lot of good players on the market and it's not going to be one of those where we leave offers open to players for too long. We feel that we can be quite strong on what people's market value is.

"It'll probably be between eight and 12 players, in my opinion, that includes the ones we want to resign. As it stands they're available to the free market. It's fair to say we'll need to make signings, you can't make the same mistake twice. We want to push and if you look at it, we've done well to get out of trouble."

Johnson knows exactly what he needs from new recruits and his current squad as he seeks to implement his own system throughout the summer.

"I think as time goes on, people will understand what I want," he added. "There’s no doubt that I want to play a high pressing game. It’s easy to say that, you can’t do that for 90 minutes as it’s impossible. What you can do is you can recognise the times when you press high and try and suffocate the opposition by getting a formation, a shape and a group of players that are fit, hungry, willing runners. 

"If we’d have had a couple more willing runners on Tuesday night (at Notts County), that could have been a four-nil and it should have been, in my opinion. But we ended up dropping deeper and deeper, then conceding possession and hanging on really. That’s not something we want to do. 

"There’s going to be a really big push. It’s not that our players aren’t fit, they are fit, but have they got the capabilities to go to the lengths that we need them to? It’s okay physically but you’ve got to be able to do that technically as well, otherwise we would just go and get a group of marathon runners. That’s no good because we want to play the right football.

"We’ll be coaching to our particular system, if you like. The players that come in will be required to have the individual attributes that each of our positions require on a tactical basis, technical basis, physical basis and also a mentality and lifestyle basis. If you fit into that, fantastic, we can narrow people down."

Finally, speaking of Saturday's opponents Peterborough, he added. "They’ve had some exceptional forward players in previous years," he continued. "They’re probably about right where they are. They’ve had some good games, some good form and dips. They’ve changed their manager which surprised me, because he (Darren Ferguson) was a very good manager for the division. The new guy came in and did well early. It’ll be a tough game.

But I’m not sure what they’ll do. They might give an opportunity to a couple as well. It’ll be interested but, hopefully, people will now start seeing the future, if you like.

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