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League One

Johnsons have no time for sentiment

15 April 2013

Yeovil manager Gary Johnson believes the harsh realities of the season run-in will override any sentiment when he takes on his son's Oldham side at Boundary Park on Tuesday.

Lee Johnson, who played under his father at Bristol City and with the Glovers, became the Football League's youngest manager at just 31 when charged with the task of guiding Latics to npower League One safety last month.

It is only the second such showdown in English football history - Bill Dodgin led Bristol Rovers against son Bill Jnr's Fulham on the first of five occasions in the 1969/70 season - but with Yeovil chasing automatic promotion and Oldham having edged away from the bottom three thanks, pleasantries will be saved for a family meal at Lee's new house in Cheshire on Wednesday.

"We are both fighting for our respective towns, directors, supporters and players so there is a lot resting on both our shoulders," said Gary Johnson. "There cannot be any favours, too much rests on each of our clubs getting the three points. The ideal scenario would be that eventually we get promoted and they stay in the division."

The 57-year-old former Northampton and Peterborough boss concedes his son's first managerial role comes as no surprise.

"He was always destined for management because he has grown up in that environment since he was really young," he explained. "I would be picking my team on a Friday night and, as a nine or 10-year-old, he had his opinion. He'd come to all the games and chuck his opinion in.

"I was a competitive Dad and it will probably keep him in good stead for this job where everyone is going to be competitive. I am sure all that has helped over the years and hopefully he has grown up humble as well as competitive."

Ahead of competing as equals, Lee Johnson revealed a telephone conversation with his father this weekend caused him to recall a youthful indiscretion.

"We had a conversation over the weekend and it was very cagey - probably the most cagey since I ran away from home once when I was nine," he said. "Of course it's difficult because we both want each other to do well.

"We were so pleased for each other with the results over the weekend but, at the same time, we couldn't really give away too much. So it was a bit of an awkward one but, certainly, once the game's over it will be back to normal."

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