Striker Danny Johnson admits his time at Dundee has been a frustrating one so far but he’s pledged to get back in the goals as soon as he’s back in the team.
Summer signing Johnson has had to settle for a spot on the bench over the past few weeks with Kane Hemmings preferred in the sole striker berth at Dens Park.
His last five appearances for the Dark Blues have been as a substitute, totalling 88 minutes.
Johnson told the Tele: “It’s been frustrating for me – I’m a player that wants to be playing.
“The manager makes the decisions and I have to be patient.
“I am biding my time but when I have played, I’ve scored so I back myself when I get back in the team I will get among the goals straight away.
“It can be difficult to make an impact as a sub, though I’ve done OK through my career.
“On a cold night like Friday, it can be hard because you have to keep warm, especially in a derby game where it can be 200 miles an hour and it’s difficult to get up to speed straight away.
“You have to make sure you are ready when you come on.”
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Unfortunately for Johnson and his team, the former Motherwell striker couldn’t add to his five goals this season on Friday as Dundee fell to a dispiriting 2-0 defeat to local rivals Dundee United.
What hurt the Dark Blues most of all was the preventable nature of the two goals from league leaders Dundee United, says Johnson.
“It was a very disappointed dressing-room, as you’d expect,” he added.
“It was a tough night and a tough one to take. We made two mistakes really and they capitalised on them.
“That’s the last thing you want in a derby game. Everyone was down after the game, obviously we have to be better.
“It is a long season but we can’t make mistakes like that because it will cost us over the course of the season.
“In these games, getting the first goal always gives a real advantage because the other team has to come out and have a go to try to get back into it. Obviously we didn’t do that and they got their second and it was hard to come back from there.”
After watching the Tangerines celebrate madly in the away end, Johnson insists there is still plenty of football to be played before anyone is crowned champion.
Dundee trail their neighbours by nine points at the top of the Championship but nobody at Dens Park will be throwing in the towel anytime soon.
“It’s hard to take coming off the pitch and seeing them celebrate like that. That’s what you want to be doing with your fans.
“If they want to get carried away then let them get carried away – there’s still a long season to go.
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“It looks like a big gap right now but we were nine points behind earlier in the season and got back to within three or four of them.
“We still have five or six months to go this campaign and you can make back nine points within a month.
“We have a lot to do obviously but it’s a long season.”
Next up for the Dark Blues is a testing trip to fourth-placed Inverness Caley Thistle a week on Saturday.
Though they’ll have plenty of time to stew on the defeat to United, Johnson says the time off could be ideal to ensure they are completely ready to bounce back.
“We have two weeks till the next game and you can look at it either way – we have two weeks to regroup and go again or you maybe want a game quickly to get it out the way.
“I’m sure we will come back against Inverness and put on a performance.
“We have a mix of experienced lads and some young ones and as experienced ones, we need to get the young lads through this time and learn from the stuff that’s cost us.
“Football is very unforgiving, Friday was two mistakes and they capitalised on them but we have to bounce back now.”