Bradley Johnson: Derby 'mentality is different' for Aston Villa play-off clash
Watch the Sky Bet Championship play-off final between Aston Villa and Derby live on Sky Sports Football from 2pm on Monday; kick-off is at 3pm.
By Joe Tanner
Last Updated: 26/05/19 11:22am
Bradley Johnson believes lessons have been learned from last season's play-off semi-final defeat to Fulham, insisting Derby have a different mentality ahead of Monday's Wembley clash with Aston Villa.
Derby lost 2-1 to Fulham on aggregate in last season's play-off semi-final, with the Cottagers coming back to win after Cameron Jerome's strike had settled the first leg.
Frank Lampard's side are aiming for a return to the top flight after 11 years away from the Premier League and Johnson claims their approach to the play-offs have changed from last year.
He said: "This year our mentality is different, we want to go out and win every game.
"We tried to stop Fulham because they were the best team in the league with passing the ball. We had to stay compact and get our goal on the counter.
"I'm seeing young players who are hungry and confident with no fear. Things have changed, the way we play now is different to last year."
Goals from Derby's young attackers Jack Marriott, Mason Mount and Harry Wilson completed a stunning 4-3 aggregate win at Elland Road in this season's semi-final, and Johnson claims they could make the difference against Villa on Monday.
"The young lads want to win and when they play with confidence they do very well," he added.
"I'm thriving playing with players who have unbelievable talent. When you have young players in your team who are confident and play with no fear it's something you can sit back, watch and enjoy."