Exclusive: I can turn it around at Barnsley, says Lee Johnson

Under-fire Reds boss Lee Johnson
Under-fire Reds boss Lee Johnson

Lee Johnson is hurting like hell.

But the Barnsley boss is determined to turn that hell into happiness as his side look to get back on track after a miserable run of five successive defeats.

The Reds face Yorkshire derby rivals Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park on Saturday looking for their first win in League One for just over a month.

“I’m very committed and desperate to turn our poor form around – as are all the players,” revealed Johnson, speaking exclusively to The Star.

“I still feel I’ve got a lot to prove, but I believe I can.

“I’m not feeling at my best because I want to do well and I really do believe I can bring success to this club.

“Football’s tough, but that’s why love it. You have spells like this as a manager and you have to stay strong to come through them.

“Being a manager is a difficult job, but that’s why there’s only so many people can do it.

“Yes, it’s pressured and intense, but you have to be able to deal the bad times as well as the good.

“We’re all hurting because we’re not getting the results we want right now, but I don’t think we’re far off. It’s a case of fine tweaking and maybe adding in a couple of areas.

“It’s just been a really bad run, which has been horrible for all of us.

“It’s not great for confidence, but to be fair the lads are in good spirits because they know we can turn things around.

“The good thing is that it’s still reasonably early in the season so we’ve got time to change things, but obviously the first thing we need to do is get a win on the board.

“And I don’t mind how we get it either, even if we win 1-0 and the winning goal comes off somebody’s backside.

“We just need a win to stop the run and that will bring back some confidence.”

Three away games in a row will certainly test Johnson’s struggling side, although recent results don’t give a true representations of how well the Reds have played in patches.

Home defeats to Fleetwood Town and Walsall in their last two games were two of the club’s poorer displays, but the Reds impressed away in spells away to Southend United and also in defeats to Crewe and Doncaster Rovers.

However, results speak volumes - and Johnson, who yesterday sent Dan Crowley back to Arsenal, knows his team need to end the club’s worst losing run since August 2009.

“We just need to make sure we get that win and build from there,” stressed Johnson.

“It’s fair to say we need a bit of experience because we do have a young side, but that’s not something we’ve ever ruled out.

“It’s a bit of fine tuning that we need. A bit of experience will help, but it’s about finding the right players to help the group.

“Unfortunately we’ve not quite found the equilibrium we’re looking for yet, but it’s pretty obvious that we need to show guts, quality and character going forward.

“But I have to be really honest and say that character hasn’t been a problem. The lads have been giving everything, but they know they have to cut out silly mistakes which have been costing us.

“There’s just a little lack of belief, but a win changes that.”