Barnsley: Reds boss can help me succeed says new boy Mawson

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Barnsley new boy Alfie Mawson believes manager Lee Johnson is the man to help him take his career to the next level.

The Reds beat off stiff competition to sign the highly-rated defender from Brentford on a three-year deal.

The 21-year-old turned down a new contract with the Bees this summer, fearful of a lack of first-team football in the Championship.

Mawson said Johnson played a big part in convincing him to sign for the club despite interest from a number of other suitors.

“The thing that swayed it massively was the gaffer,” he admitted. “The way he wants to play football and the way he wants to develop me individually was what swayed it for me.

“I met a few managers and had very good conversations with them and enjoyed them, but the thing I took mostly off of the gaffer was his attention to the finer details. There are things in his office that made me think he wanted to work with me, and I know he’s going to push me to the next level so I knew it was the right decision.”

Mawson’s refusal of a new deal at Brentford alerted a number of interested parties, with Johnson confirming last week that there were ‘eight or nine’ clubs speaking to the player’s representatives.

Interest intensified after the promising centre-half scooped several awards following an impressive loan spell at Wycombe Wanderers last season, including Players’ Player of the Year and Supporters’ Player of the Year.

During his time at Adams Park, Mawson amassed a total of 50 appearances and chipped in with seven goals, proving to be a real danger from set-pieces as they narrowly missed out on promotion to League One with a penalty shootout defeat in the play-off final.

After such a strong breakthrough season, Mawson is determined to keep his feet firmly on the ground.

“I had quite a good season last year on loan at Wycombe and got quite a few accolades,” he added.

“I need to take it in my stride, it’s been different for me because I’ve never had that much appreciation before but I thrived off it, it made me more confident.

“Looking back now it was a massive stepping stone in hopefully a long career. I think I did quite well last year but this year I’m going to have to step it up a notch.

“It was lovely to be awarded but I’ve got to push on and do the same in League One and that’s my aim.”