BRADLEY Johnson insists his desire to play in the Premier League is greater than ever – and he’s hoping to help Rovers make their return.

The 32-year-old arrives at Ewood Park from Derby with a wealth of experience at the sharp end of the Championship and in the top flight, Tony Mowbray believing his knowhow can be a big help to his emerging squad.

Despite having been there and done it with Norwich City and coming close with Derby in May, Johnson says the fire still burns when it comes to pitting himself against the very best.

“As a player you can only want promotion,” said Johnson, who is been brought in alongside fellow senior professional Stewart Downing.

“Every player here wants to play in the Premier League, that was my dream as a kid and is my aim now. I know I’m coming to the end of my career but I still want to play in the Premier League – it’s the best league in the world.

“When you get a good run of games in this league you can do anything.

“Look at the teams who have been promoted over the last few years – it’s all about hitting form at the right time.

“This league is very demanding come November, December and Christmas time.

“You play Saturday-Tuesday and picking up results in those sort of time periods is key.

“There’s going to be games where you don’t play your best and you’ve got to grind out results and win 1-0 away from home.

“There’s going to be games where you’re playing well and don’t get the results.

 “I know what it’s going to take, I’m going to feed my experience to the lads and hopefully we can do that.”

Johnson was a Norwich team-mate of Rovers midfielder Elliott Bennett in the top flight and was a key figure when the Canaries returned to the Premier League via the play-offs in 2015.

The former Leeds man had hoped to repeat the feat with Frank Lampard and Derby at the end of last season, only to lose to Aston Villa at Wembley.

He arrives with that fresh in the mind and while here to help Rovers’ younger players, Johnson leaves no-one in any doubt about his expectations.

“As soon as a I spoke to the club I sensed the direction they are going in,” he said. 

“It’s a club on the up with a young, hungry team and the manager wanted to add a bit of experience to that.

“It’s a change of roles now with everyone calling me the experienced pro. 

“The gaffer touched on my experience and I am an experienced player but I want to play. 

“I’ll work my socks off in training to be in that side in August.

“Hopefully I can come here and play my part.”

Former England winger Downing will likely have similar ideas as Rovers look to build on their 15th-placed finish on their return to the second tier. 

“He is a great player, just look at his career and what he has done in the game,” Johnson said of his fellow new recruit.

“I’m sure everyone’s excited to play with him because I am.

“He is a good lad, a top professional.