Mixed feelings as Reda puts his country first

Call-up: Reda Johnson will play for Benin next Sunday
Call-up: Reda Johnson will play for Benin next Sunday
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REDA Johnson will send his club-mates a good-luck message and feel contrasting emotions as the Owls head into the clash with Chesterfield.

The defender will be away with Benin for an Africa Cup of Nations final qualifier against Rwanda on Sunday instead of aiding Wednesday in the Hillsborough derby.

On one hand he regrets missing the first of “two massive games” at club level but on the other he is a patriot.

“Games like the ones against Chesterfield and Sheffield United are the ones you want to be play in when you’re a footballer,” he said. “It should be amazing.

“I know I must miss a really good game on Saturday but when you are called up for an international you have to go.

“It’s my country, I can’t forget that. When you play for your country, it’s amazing. I know I miss something; on the other part I win something.

“I am starting every game with my country now; I have to keep that going, and do the same with my team, and I hope the team win against Chesterfield.”

He hopes to regain his left-back place for the Sheffield derby but expects to be at centre-half for Benin, where he is a regular though has had one game at full-back for them and one in midfield.