Express & Star

Danny Johnson quality hailed by Walsall team-mate Jack Earing

Jack Earing has hailed Walsall team-mate Danny Johnson as a ‘top-quality striker’ – while acknowledging others need to help him on the goal front.

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One of the positives from Saturday’s disappointing 2-1 defeat to Grimsby Town saw the on-loan Johnson grab his seventh goal of the season already.

He has matched his tally from the whole of last term with parent club Mansfield Town, and Earing said: “He’s a goalscorer. That’s what we want him to do.

“He can get to at least 20, I think, because he’s a top-quality striker at this level.

“We want to give him the ball in the box and for him to shoot any chance he gets – especially on that left peg.

"After that goal, he was limited with his chances (on Saturday), and that’s where the other lads, and especially me from midfield, need to chip in with goals if we want to get anywhere this season.”

After Johnson scored just four minutes in on Saturday, Walsall were guilty of sitting back and inviting pressure while Tom Knowles missed two gilt-edged opportunities before Grimsby eventually came back from behind.

Earing added on the Saddlers’ game management: “It’s something as a team we need to get better at.

“It’s a mentality. We’ll get our heads down and look forward to West Ham now.”