Mansfield Town striker Danny Johnson says his hat-trick against Newcastle under-21s in midweek can give him the confidence to kick-start his season and goalscoring form.
The summer signing netted three times in the Stags’ ruthless 6-3 victory in the Papa John’s Trophy group stage match at One Call Stadium on Tuesday night.
The 28-year-old hopes to carry his goalscoring spree into an important month for Mansfield, where they will play several teams around them in the Sky Bet League Two table.
That batch of fixtures starts with a 118-mile journey south to face 21st placed Stevenage at the Lamex Stadium this Saturday.
On which of his three goals were his favourite in mid-week, Johnson said: “The penalty.
“[Especially] after the last penalty that I took [against Tranmere]. I’ve got no idea what happened with that one! I [stepped] up to take the penalty tonight [so] the third one meant a lot more.”
The striker admitted confidence has a big influence on his in-game performances.
“When I’m confident I’m scoring goals,” said Johnson.
“Last year when I was scoring week-in week-out, I knew going into games that I was going to turn up and score goals. This year I’ve still got that belief but it’s been hard to keep going.
“The last few games I’ve started I’ve scored in, so hopefully I can keep that going. It was only a matter of time [if I] keep patient those chances will come.”
The former Leyton Orient marksman said that his 2021/22 goalscoring record hasn’t yet lived up to the standards he sets for himself.
“When I said that I was coming here to score goals, I’ve been a bit disappointed with the start of my season,” Johnson said. “For whatever reason it hasn’t quite clicked.
“Sometimes these things happen in football.
“I’ve been very disappointed with my goal return up until now. I put pressure on myself to get goals and I feel I should score every shot I have to be honest. That’s the type of person I am.
“When I go home and I haven’t scored I kick myself.
“There’s been a few times I’ve been hoping that my season’s been about to kick-start and it’s not, so hopefully tonight is the kick-start to my season.
“I want to go into the next game and score again, and the next one and the next one. [I] want to continue that momentum through the season and hopefully we start picking up results.”
Johnson will hope to do just that as the Stags face Stevenage, Scunthorpe United, Sutton United and Crawley Town all in a season-defining month of November.
On Mansfield’s upcoming run, Johnson said: “You look at the fixtures this month and we’ve got four teams in and around us.
“If we really want to do anything with our season we need to get results and kick on from there.
“We don’t want to be down there come Christmas.
“We need to stick together, get a few results and dig in.”
You can watch the striker's full interview on iFollow Stags here.