Barnsley: Johnson out to bring smiles back to Oakwell

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Barnsley can bring back the feelgood factor to Oakwell this season, according to manager Lee Johnson.

The Reds’ pre-season training programme is now in full swing ahead of their promotion push in the upcoming 2015/16 campaign.

Johnson was brought to the club in February with the remit of securing League One football, but his instant impact led to a brief brush with the play-off places.

Now in his first full summer at Barnsley, the manager has the opportunity to make the changes necessary to mount a serious challenge for a return to the Championship.

“We’re talking about raising value,” he said of his vision for the club’s future. “In raising value it’s not just the players’ value, it’s raising the value of the feelgood factor, the quality of play, and the fans’ entertainment levels, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

“Hopefully at the back end of that if we get those decisions right enough then a promotion will come.”

The Reds boss is a keen student of all aspects of the running of a club, and is intent on ensuring that past mistakes are not repeated, particularly in terms of player recruitment.

“It’s not a case of throwing outrageous pots of money at it to chase it, because the club have done that in the past,” he added. “We’re working very closely as a group to make sure we get the right players in that fit.

“We’ve lost a couple because we didn’t feel they were value. We might have wanted to sign them but only at the right price, and that’s just me being honest and transparent because it’s really important that everybody buys into what we’re trying to do, and I think they will.”

The latest player added to the ranks at Oakwell is talented Liverpool youngster Wade Maxwell.

The 17-year-old featured regularly for the Reds’ Under-18 squad, having spent seven years with his boyhood club.

Rather than remain at Anfield and continue to play youth football, the attacking midfielder opted to join Barnsley in order to try to gain more first-team experience and continue his development.