In-form Gateshead frontman Danny Johnson has spoken of his pride after being placed on the standby list for England C’s upcoming international with Ukraine in Kiev.
It is the second time this season that Johnson has been called into Paul Fairclough’s contingency squad, the Three Lions travelling to the Ukrainian capital later this month in the opening game of the International Challenge Trophy.
Johnson took his tally for the season to 12 with a brace at Altrincham on Tuesday night, the Heed putting a turbulent week to one side with a much-needed victory at Moss Lane.
The 23-year-old has enjoyed something of a renaissance since the turn of the year, netting eight times in his last nine outings having originally struggled for game-time under Neil Aspin.
Aspin commended Johnson for a glowing all-round performance against the Robins, admitting to have been firmly “won over” by the forward’s recent displays.
And Johnson himself feels he is riding the crest of a wave following a testing start to his career at the International Stadium.
He said: “I’m absolutely chuffed at the moment. As I’ve said before, the beginning of the season was frustrating for me, but since scoring against Eastleigh [in January] I’ve just kicked on.
“I’ve started the last two games and I’ve got three goals. I feel like I’m back firing, so it’s happy days.
“I’m over the Moon to be in the frame for England C. If England come calling at any level in any sport, it’s a great honour for you and your family.
“I might just sneak in there if somebody gets injured, but if not, hopefully I can keep performing for next time.”
Johnson applauded the Heed for digging deep at Moss Lane, and has urged his teammates to keep their focus as a pivotal week beckons.
He said: “It was difficult to go out of the FA Trophy on penalties, coming so close to a semi-final against lower-league opposition, where we would back ourselves every day.
“I didn’t think we deserved to lose as we did at Tranmere, but we ground out the win on Tuesday night, and that’s what you have to do at this stage of the season.
“If you start looking at what’s going on above you, you take your eye off what you really need to do.
“We need to just keep picking up points ourselves, and if we can do that, then eventually we’re going to sneak into the top-five.”