Preston North End playmaker Daniel Johnson has told the Football League Paper that he thinks there is still time for Aston Villa to stay up, but believes there are problems behind the scenes with his former club.
Johnson, 23, joined Villa's youth setup from Crystal Palace back in 2009, and went on to become Villa's Under-18 and Reserve team captain as he made his way up through the ranks at Villa Park.
Whilst Johnson was clearly highly-regarded at youth and reserve level, he was never given the opportunity to play for Villa's first team, and spent time out on loan with Yeovil Town, Chesterfield and Oldham Athletic.
Eventually, Johnson realised that he wouldn't be given a chance at Villa, and left for Preston North End in January 2015, with manager Simon Grayson - a former Villa player himself - told The Mirror that the deal only cost a paltry £50,000, a deal which many Villa fans have bemoaned since the transfer went through.
Johnson has since made a mockery of that transfer fee, hitting 16 goals in 59 games for the Lilywhites on his way to becoming one of the Football League's top young playmakers, whilst former club Villa are hurtling towards relegation to the Championship, where they will meet Preston next season.
Now, Johnson has told the Football League Paper that he thinks there is still time for his former club Villa to stay in the Premier League, but hinted that there are problems in the backroom staff, and isn't interested in knowing why he didn't get his chance with Villa, despite other young players before him being given an opportunity to shine.
"There’s obviously something going on among the backroom staff, but I’m not too sure what [it is] to be honest," said Johnson. "They’ve always been a good club, to produce players like Barry Bannan, Ciaran Clark, Marc Albrighton. The list can go on."
"However, I’ve not really been that interested in following up on why it didn’t happen for me as I’m very happy where I am now. It’s a really big club and, for them to be talking about relegation is something you’d never expect in the past. There are still a lot of games to go and they might find the points to stay in the division," he added.
Do Villa have any chance of staying in the Premier League?