Embrace the change, urges new Brackley boss Johnson

Roger Johnson is hoping the Brackley Town squad will continue to “embrace the change” after a whirlwind week for the club.
New manager Roger Johnson acknowledges the Brackley Town fans after a 1-1 draw with AFC Fylde in his first game in charge. Picture by Glenn AlcockNew manager Roger Johnson acknowledges the Brackley Town fans after a 1-1 draw with AFC Fylde in his first game in charge. Picture by Glenn Alcock
New manager Roger Johnson acknowledges the Brackley Town fans after a 1-1 draw with AFC Fylde in his first game in charge. Picture by Glenn Alcock

The former Birmingham City and Wolves player was appointed to his first managerial role with the Saints following the shock departure of Kevin Wilkin - who has since taken over at AFC Telford United - last week.

Johnson, who has brought former Republic of Ireland international Stephen Ward on board as assistant-manager, took charge for the first time at the weekend as Brackley drew 1-1 with AFC Fylde at St James Park.

They are now preparing for a tough trip to in-form Darlington on Saturday but Johnson has been left to reflect on a busy, yet ultimately encouraging first week at the helm.

“It’s been busy, as you can imagine,” the 39-year-old said.

“I have been getting to know everyone, working out how the club runs and who does what as well as taking training.

“Some people don’t like change and some people embrace it. That’s the industry we’re in and I said that to the boys on my first day in.

“It’s our job and we have to move on. Kevin did wonders at the club over a long period of time and it wasn’t about coming in and trying to tarnish that.

“It was about getting them onside as quickly as I could, explain my philosophies and what I want and how I want to play.

“We took that into training and to see them taking on board the patterns we’d done in training and putting it on the pitch was a good feeling.

“For them to play the way I asked them to play and do all they could to get the result was the really pleasing thing.

“We have only covered about 30 per cent of what I want to bring to the lads so if that’s the opening, I can only see a positive outcome from it.

“There are a few things I am going to tweak and I have made it clear that new faces will come in.

“The lads should embrace that. I have been there myself and you think people are coming in to take your place.

“But if players are coming in, it’s up to the lads to make sure they don’t take their shirt.

“The squad should embrace competition for places. I don’t think there’s been much of that.”

Johnson has been true to his word on introducing new players to the squad as experienced midfielder Martin Woods was snapped up ahead of last weekend’s game before Brackley confirmed the arrival of former Salford City and Solihull Moors striker Adam Rooney, who has been at Stratford Town recently, on Tuesday night.

On the addition of Rooney, who has scored over 250 goals in a fine career so far, Johnson said: “I am delighted to get Adam over the line. He is someone who was of real importance to get in.

“I’ve always liked Adam as a player, he gave me a hard time many years ago when I played against him and I have seen him play against my teams in recent years.

“He is someone who can hold it up to bring others into play, will win his headers, work hard for the team and most importantly knows where the goal is. His career and the clubs he’s been at speaks for itself.”