The BIG Interview - Jonno

Last updated : 30 December 2004 By The Rambler

DerbyMad: Fans were obviously disappointed to lose against Millwall during the week. But with the news of the catastrophe caused by the tsunami it rather puts things into perspective.

Michael Johnson: Absolutely. But you have to realize that we can enjoy the beautiful game of football here, and the people went home and had their dinners with their families and said goodnight to each other. Whereas across the world in a lot of the Asian countries they are suffering at the minute. There has been a dreadful; loss of life and it could get higher. So it does put things into perspective. We are disappointed about the game, but it is not the be all and end all.

DM: Derby County are joining together with the local fire brigade to arrange a collection at the Cardiff game on Saturday and help, in a small way, the problems that you just mentioned. What would you say to fans going along?

MJ: I’d say to all fans if you can, even if it is £1, £5 or 50 p, if you can spare hat then please donate as it will be going to a worthy cause. The lads have made a box for the training ground reception area where everybody can put money over the next few days. So hopefully the fans can do their bit and hopefully raise so that it can go towards helping this really bad disaster.

DM: Moving back to the football. It was only one defeat wasn’t it. We shouldn’t be getting carried away surely?

MJ: Yes. We’ve done really well recently and only been beaten once in the last 4 games – by a good Millwall side that did their homework on us. They gave us a good hiding at home but we are still in 8th position. If someone had asked us at the start of the season if we would take being in 8th place I think that the majority of the team and the majority of the fans would have taken that. It has been a good effort from the lads in the first half of the season.

DM: Realistically do you want to be in the top 6 at this stage. You are only going to be there to shot at.

MJ: Ideally you want to sneak in there at the death. That is what we did at Birmingham when we got promoted. We went about our business quietly unnoticed till we got in there. That is the way that you want it to be. Obviously we would be delighted if we could get in the playoffs. But at the minute I think it is a great reward for the lads. And what George Burley has done is that we are siting in the top half of the table. Especially after the last 2 seasons for Derby.

DM: The side played badly away to Millwall, badly at home to Millwall, brilliantly away to Cardiff… are we seeing a pattern here?

MJ: Regardless of how we played in them we have got to put things right. Obviously a lot of people, a lot of the fans and a lot of the lads are hurt about what happened the other day against Millwall. We’ve got to set about putting things right and that starts on Saturday with Cardiff.

DM: After that we have a televised game away to Reading. So is everyone going for smart haircuts and to look their best?

MJ: (Laughs) Everywhere is closed now because of New Year. The main thing though is to win against Cardiff and then come back from Reading with anything, be it 1 or 3 points.

DM: 7 points out of 12 would not be a bad return from the Christmas period if you could get that would it?

MJ: I would have settled for that before the Christmas period. We did say that 7 points from these games would be good. It all starts on Saturday. If we can go to Reading and get a good win and then get something from Reading it has been a good return for us.