BRENNAN JOHNSON says he can take some of the pressure off Gareth Bale at the World Cup.

The Nottingham Forest wonderkid scored for the second Wales game running in Tuesday’s 3-2 Nations League defeat to Holland.

Brennan Johnson insists he can take the scoring pressure off Gareth Bale In Qatar


Brennan Johnson insists he can take the scoring pressure off Gareth Bale In QatarCredit: AP

Captain Bale thought he had salvaged an injury-time draw in Rotterdam with his 39th international goal before Memphis Depay slammed home a 93rd-minute winner.

But rising star Johnson, who is staking his claim for a starting spot in Qatar, believes he can ease the burden on Wales’ talisman in the Middle East.

Johnson, 21, said: “If that is what I can do then I am happy to do it, if that takes a bit of pressure off him. I always want to score goals myself.

“But also the boys like Aaron Ramsey and H [Harry Wilson], they can all chip in with goals as well and have shown it in the past.

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“Having a wider spread of goalscorers is going to be a massive boost for us.”

Johnson, who helped Forest clinch promotion to the Premier League via the play-off final in May, has had an amazing breakthrough for his country this month.

The forward hit the post in the play-off final triumph over Ukraine which booked Wales’ World Cup spot.

And then he netted his first Dragons goal with the equaliser against Belgium in Saturday’s 1-1 draw, before adding another against the Dutch at the De Kuip Stadium.

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Johnson added: “It has been a good camp. After a long season I thought, ‘I have done well, and I had the confidence to do it again with Wales. I am happy with how it has panned out.

“It was nice to score [against Holland]. H got his head up and when he does that I know he can put quality balls through.

“He put one through and I knew it was going to be a tight gap but I put it in the bottom corner. I work on different finishes.

“It’s something I needed to improve and it was nice to see it go in.”

Boss Robert Page has already hailed Johnson as the “future of Welsh football”.

The caretaker gaffer said: “It is great when you have your best players and Brennan is certainly showing his worth.

“When you have them on the team sheet, it is certainly not just the centre-forwards who you get a lift from, it is your team-mates around you as well.

“Brennan is growing game by game and has a bright future.”

Page admitted he did not worry about Bale scoring from the penalty spot against Holland, following his Euro 2020 miss against Turkey.

He added: “It was no surprise, he is a strong character. I fully expected him to step up and score the penalty.

“He is one short of 40 goals and it would be lovely to see him break through that in Qatar, or sooner as we have two games in September.

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“We ask him to play in a slightly different position but we all know what he is capable of with his free-kicks.

“He nearly got one last week. There is still a lot more to come from him.”


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