In his first five months as an Owl, Johnson’s only goal came in a comfortable Football League Trophy win over Newcastle United Under-21s, but seven days ago his strike decided a League One match against Ipswich Town.
It is not that Johnson has been poor, just sacrificing himself by playing in the back three since late October rather than his natural wide position. It is an attitude mirrored throughout the team.
With Everton loanee Lewis Gibson due back at Middlewood Road next week, Johnson will hope his centre-back days are over, although with Harlee Dean injured for today’s trip to Burton Albion it is not certain.
“It was a long time coming,” the 31-year-old says of his goal. “I came in wanting goals and assists but it probably stalled a bit playing left-sided centre-back.
“We’ve not scored anywhere near as many goals as we would like. Baz (Barry Bannan) and Chey (Dunkley) have chipped in, but the forwards and wide players can chip in with a few more.”
Taking on a position he had never played was not something Johnson had an issue with and he was helped by his team-mates, including close friend and former Oxford United and Kidderminster Harriers colleague Dunkley.
“I told the manager I’d play to the best of my ability and try and help the team,” he says. “It’s easy for a player to say they’re not comfortable out of their position but the fact boys have stepped in and got on with the game just shows the mentality.
“Speaking to Chey and Hutch (Sam Hutchinson) and (Liam) Palmer and Hunty (Jack Hunt), you can learn a lot from them. I asked them to let me know where they needed me to be. Maybe after two or three games there I started to use my own instincts.”
At the same time, forward Theo Corbeanu was learning Johnson’s left wing-back role.
“You get frustrated when people are not doing the work but then after the game you think, ‘That’s not his natural position,’” says Johnson. “But he was willing to do it and most of the time he did the job really well.
“The dressing room’s unbelievable with people helping each other out.”