Regular support from owner Cryne fuels Johnson’s self-belief

Tykes manager Lee Johnson
Tykes manager Lee Johnson
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Lee Johnson admits he got “a bit of stick” from Barnsley owner Patrick Cryne after the Tykes slumped to a fourth successive league defeat.

Tuesday’s 2-0 home loss to Walsall, their fourth league defeat in a row, saw the injury-hit Reds left in the bottom six of League One.

Yesterday, head coach Johnson met with Cryne and chief executive Ben Mansford as Barnsley look to add two players to ease their growing injury problems.

With midfielder Ben Pearson suspended, the Tykes are likely to be without seven first-teamers for tomorrow’s visit of Fleetwood Town.

Johnson insists he does not fear the sack, and speaks to Cryne almost on a daily basis.

“Patrick has been great, always been supportive and he continues to be supportive,” he said. “I am sure if we ask for something, he will produce.

“But we don’t want to get it wrong.

“We are all frustrated.

“Of course, we have our ups and downs. He gave me a bit of stick for Tuesday night’s game, and you have to take that on the chin.

“But we are all pulling in the same direction, with a belief of what we can do over a period of time. We just have to get over this little hiccough.

“I love this place. I am going to be here, I hope, for a very, very long time.

“I want to be the one to deliver what everyone wants.

“I understand, this is football, and you get a social media frenzy which can whip up a storm very quickly. Results will determine that.

“But what I would say is I am as determined as anyone. I still believe massively in the group. I believe we need one or two (extra players) of the right ilk to aid and benefit the group.

“For whatever reason we haven’t been able to get those couple which could be the important ingredients.

“We will, but it might take a window or two.

“With our best XI out we are a match for any team in the division. Nobody has turned us over this year, we have competed in every game.

“Where we have fallen short is the experience element. That will grow. We have conceded a couple of poor goals, in the last three or four games, but scattered in there has been some very good play.”

As at most clubs when results are not favourable, fans’ opinions can be split on whether change is needed.

But Johnson holds no grudges.

He said: “Thank you to the fans who have supported us, but I also understand the guys who have turned a little bit.

“I forgive them and hope when we do turn things around they return and get behind everybody.

“This is football, part of the pressures of football. I am lower than anybody when we lose a game, but I bounce back quicker than anybody because of my desire and courage to do well for the club.”

Johnson knows the hazardous nature of a football manager – he is the longest-serving boss in South Yorkshire despite only being appointed in February – and is refreshingly honest when he appraises his own touchline performance this season.

Asked if he feared the sack, Johnson replied: “Football is football, and so far everybody has stuck with me, which is good.

“People understand what phase we are in, because it will come good.

“I want to be the person to deliver that.

“I don’t have fears (over getting the sack) because football is like that, and I give it my best every day.

“Yes, I have made mistakes this year – partly through learning about the group – and maybe four points lost through poor tactical decisions.

“However, I have probably won games through good tactical decisions.”