Colchester United striker Denny Johnstone is embracing the No. 9 role
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Denny Johnstone is blessed with the “feel-good factor” at the moment, not just because he is scoring goals, but also because he is proudly wearing the No. 9 shirt.
Centre forward Johnstone, who managed just two goals throughout his first season with Colchester United last term, while wearing the No. 17 shirt, has taken over the No. 9 position vacated by fellow striker Chris Porter (now at Crewe).
And the 22-year-old Scotsman has responded by scoring three goals in pre-season, finding the target in each of the U’s last three pre-season friendlies at Needham Market, Welsh club Llandudno and most recently a West Ham XI.
Johnstone headed home the winner in a 1-0 success at Llandudno last Friday night, and he buried a close-range header from Craig Slater’s free-kick in Tuesday night’s 2-0 home victory over the Hammers, who were mostly comprised under-23s..
“Number nine is a number that I like,” enthused Johnstone, who was signed from Birmingham City last summer.
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“The season before I came here (at Scottish Championship club Greenock Morton), I wore the No. 9, and I got a few goals that season (17 in 43 games), so it’s a bit of a feel-good factor.
“Naturally I’m delighted to get that No. 9 shirt.
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“Hopefully, the injuries are behind me. I took it easy for the first couple of days, but I’ve got a lot of minutes in my legs since then.”
- Match report of Colchester United’s win over West HamJohnstone missed a first-half sitter against the young Hammers, but he did not let that prey on his mind.
“I think that’s one of the most important things as a striker, when he misses a chance as bad as the one I missed – and I hope that I don’t miss one as bad as that again!” insisted Johnstone,
“You just need to get it out of your mind as quickly as possible, because I knew we would get opportunities again because the boys were playing very well, and all I had to do was to keep putting myself in the right areas.
“It all bodes well for the new season, definitely.
“We’ve got some good pre-season games coming up as well next week (Ipswich Town on Tuesday evening, and Gillingham on Friday week), so hopefully I can add to that tally and then start scoring goals again in the league,” concluded Johnstone.