Nine months after prolific fans’ favourite Louis Moult left the club, Danny Johnson is another ex-National League ace setting the heather alight for Motherwell.
Johnson’s opportunist opener in Saturday’s crucial 3-1 win at Dundee made it three goals in three games for the marksman signed from Gateshead in the summer, as he bids to emulate fellow forward Moult who netted 50 goals in two-and-a-half seasons for Well after joining from Wrexham.
The ex-Middlesbrough youth player (25) said: “Louis Moult’s success at Motherwell was a big inspiration for me.
“It’s one of the reasons why I came here.
“Look what he’s done for the club, the goals he’s scored.
“And the gaffer said to me: ‘You’ll get your chances’.
“If you put a ball for me in the box and it drops for me that’s perfect because I know I’ve got a great chance of scoring.”
Johnson – who netted 44 goals in 110 games for Gateshead between 2015 and 2018 – impressively slotted home Motherwell’s opener at Dens Park on Saturday.
Elliott Frear’s fine 57th minute cross from the left was missed disastrously by home defender Genseric Kusunga and Johnson thumped the ball past keeper Jack Hamilton for his fourth goal in claret and amber colours.
“It’s a fantastic start really,” Johnson said.
“I think if somebody had told me at the start of the season: ‘You’ll have four goals by now and three in your three starts’ I’d have snapped their hands off.
“You saw today first half I wasn’t quite there but the ball’s just dropped and I didn’t even look where the goal was.
“I know as soon as it drops and going to spin and I’m going to get that shot away and it’s gone flying in.
“He gave me half a chance and that’s all I need.
“I’ve always been a fox in the box so to speak.
“But I suppose a few of my goals last year weren’t the one touch finish – they were all one/two touch and getting past the defender.
“But this season they just seem to be dropping for me on the first touch finish and it’s going in.”
Johnson is the first to admit that making the transition from English football’s fifth tier to Scotland’s top flight is not an easy one.
And he didn’t have a straightforward start to his Motherwell career as he only made substitute appearances in the Steelmen’s first two league games – a 3-0 defeat at Hibernian and a 1-0 home reverse against Hamilton Accies.
But he has started the last three games, a 1-0 Betfred Cup success at Livingston, a 3-3 home league draw against Rangers and on Saturday at Dens – and netted in all of them.
Johnson said: “It’s been a big step up but I think I’ve adjusted pretty quickly.
“I’ve had to, to keep my place in the team.
“It was tough the first few weeks just finding my feet but I’ve found my feet quickly and I’m doing good.
“I think the first few games we didn’t really deserve to get beat, we deserved something out of the games.
“But the last few weeks we’ve been getting results so I think we warranted what we got against Dundee.”
Saturday’s win moved Motherwell up to ninth place in the Scottish Premiership with four points from their opening four matches.
The international break means that their next league fixture is a home encounter against leaders Hearts on Saturday, September 15, kick-off 3pm.