United keeper Johnstone was always Johnson’s top target
Gary Johnson says that Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone was always his first choice to fill the void left by Marek Stech’s injury.
With the Czech shot-stopper facing three months on the sidelines with a broken hand sustained against Birmingham City this month, Johnson was desperate to bring in cover.
A move for Wayne Hennessey of Wolverhampton Wanderers collapsed when he was injured during Wales’ warm-up for their friendly with the Republic of Ireland last week, but Johnson was still pursuing other targets regardless, with Johnstone finally signing just hours before Yeovil’s 2-0 Championship defeat at Burnley last Saturday.
“Sam was our choice, and when you’re dealing with Manchester United, you’re dealing with a lot of legalities,” Johnson said. “We got him in, and it was on Saturday morning that we got the final OK from the Premier League.
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“He was recommended to us by some of the people who run the England teams. He’s been in the England sides for a long time, and they believe he’s ready for this type of football. He did well at Walsall last year, and Dean Smith liked him. At Scunthorpe when Alan Knill was there, he liked him.”
Johnson has also added another goalkeeper, Chris Dunn, to the Glovers’ ranks. He knows Dunn, having worked with him at Northampton Town before the 25-year-old joined Coventry City.
“Now we’ve got [former Northampton players] Chris [Dunn] and Byron Webster and Liam Davis, they are sort of a project that I can finish,” Johnson said. “He’s a decent ’keeper as well and he’s a brave ’keeper. We’re at the level now where we’ve got to have a squad, and not take a chance by just going with the one goalkeeper.”