Accrington Stanley’s Callum Johnson enjoying step up to League One

Home of Accrington (Picture Credit: Nathan Egerton)

Young defender Callum Johnson is loving being able to test himself against better opposition as Accrington Stanley thrive in League One.

Johnson, 21, signed for Stanley last season and helped the club win the League Two title. Even relatively early on in the season, he has already noticed the difference in quality between the two leagues and he’s had to adapt his game.

He said: “In League Two every now and then you could afford to make a mistake and it wouldn’t get punished but in League One a higher percentage of mistakes do get punished.

“There’s the odd couple of players in each side who are that cut above. They are stronger, faster and play at a quicker tempo.”

Accrington’s Callum Johnson. (Picture Credit: Nathan Egerton)

Despite League One hosting sizeable clubs like Sunderland, Charlton and Barnsley, after eleven games Stanley are now fifth and belief is high in the squad.

He continued: “We believe that we’re as good, if not better than the majority of teams in this league and we’ve got to go into every game thinking that.

“We’ve just got to keep doing what we’ve been doing, build on in it and keep improving.”

The defender also believes that this good form is due to the hard work and team spirit within the squad.

Johnson added: “We’re all working as one and we’re all pulling the same way. That’s what we had last season as well. Everyone’s working together.”

Stanley had struggled defensively at the start of the season and failed to keep a clean sheet in their opening nine league games. Now, after two consecutive clean sheets, Johnson is relieved and hoping to build on recent performances.

He said: “It was obviously playing on our minds a little bit, that first clean sheet, it’s almost like your first goal as a striker. You just want that first clean sheet and hopefully more will come now as we’ve got the first couple.”

Manager John Coleman has been full of praise for Johnson this season but the 21 year old has thanked a teammate for contributing to his good form.

He added: “Mark Hughes is experienced and he’s always talking and keeping you on your toes. He makes sure you’re at 100% for the full 90 minutes.”