Brackley Town boss Roger Johnson admits play-off finish 'a minimum this season'

Roger Johnson isn't going to start making any bold predictions for his first season in charge of Brackley Town - but admits that the team making the play-off has to be 'a minimum this season'.
New Brackley boss Roger Johnson with his management team of Kevin Foley (left) and Stephen WardNew Brackley boss Roger Johnson with his management team of Kevin Foley (left) and Stephen Ward
New Brackley boss Roger Johnson with his management team of Kevin Foley (left) and Stephen Ward

The 39-year-old takes over a Saints side that is pretty well set in the National League North, sitting in eighth place, just one place and point off the play-offs, and only four points adrift of leaders King's Lynn.

The start to the season clearly hasn't gone as well as the club hierarchy hoped though, as Kevin Wilkin was last week relieved his his duties after seven years in charge of St James Park.

Wilkin guided Brackley to the play-offs for the past two seasons, and also won the FA Trophy in 2018, so Johnson, who was appointed 24 hours after the news of Wilkin's departure, is well aware he is going to be a tough act to follow.

But the new boss is quietly confident he can build on his predecessor's good work and makes it clear his ambition is go one step further - but he knows that is easier said than done.

Asked what he would see as being a successful first season in charge, Johnson admitted: "That is a tough question.

"I know the success of the club in previous years has been the play-offs, and they have just fallen short at that end hurdle for one reason or another.

"I am not going to sit here and say 'we are going to get promoted and win the league', although I would like to and that is in the back of my mind.

"But it is tough to come in, and I have to get the boys onside straight away.

"The first session we had last Thursday was brilliant, after the brief meeting we had where I explained how I want things, but that is going to take time.

"Promotion is something that is important, certainly the play-offs, and from what I have seen and the games I have watched that have been filmed, there is a good grounding here of getting success.

"So yes, I would like to get into the play-offs as a minimum this season."

Former Wolves and Birmingham City defender Johnson's first game in charge will be against fourth-placed AFC Fylde on Saturday at St James Park.

He will be working with the squad he has inherited from Wilkin, and is impressed by the tools he has at his disposal, but he has also confirmed that he will be bringing new players to the club - and that the existing squad should be ready to rise to any challenges around the corner.

"There is a lot to sort out in a short space of time because we are in season," Johnson told brackleytownfc.com

"I haven't got the fallback or pre-season to get everything in motion, we are in it, we are in battle as we speak.

"I have told the players that yes, there are going to be players coming in, because that is the industry we are in.

"I think the team should embrace that, because it is only going to make us better.

"It is going to take a couple of weeks just to get everyone where I want them, hopefully get some new faces in, and just hit the ground running, starting on Saturday.

"I am excited to get going now."