BRENNAN JOHNSON says he can take some pressure off Gareth Bale at the World Cup.
The Nottingham Forest prodigy scored for Wales for the second consecutive year in Tuesday’s 3-2 Nations League defeat by Holland.
Captain Bale thought he had salvaged an injury-time draw with his 39th international goal in Rotterdam before Memphis Depay scored a 93rd-minute winner.
But rising star Johnson, who is asserting his claim for a starting spot in Qatar, believes he can relieve Wales’ talisman in the Middle East.
Johnson, 21, said: “If I can do that, I’m happy to do it if it takes some of the pressure off him. I always want to score goals myself.
“But also the guys like Aaron Ramsey and H [Harry Wilson]they can all score goals too and have shown it in the past.
“A wider spread of goalscorers will be a huge boost for us.”
Johnson, who helped Forest to the Premier League via the play-off final in May, had an amazing breakthrough for his country this month.
The striker hit the post in the play-off final triumph against Ukraine, which saw Wales take the World Cup spot.
And then he scored his first goal for the Dragons with an equalizer against Belgium in Saturday’s 1-1 draw before scoring another goal against the Netherlands at the De Kuip Stadium.
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Johnson added: “It was a good camp. After a long season I thought, ‘I did well and I had the confidence to do it again with Wales. I’m happy with how it turned out.
“It was nice to score a goal [against Holland]. H has his head up and when he does that I know he can impose quality balls.
“He put one through and I knew it was going to be a tight gap but I put it in the bottom corner. I’m working on different versions.
“It’s something I needed to improve and it was nice to see how it was received.”
Boss Robert Page has already hailed Johnson as the “future of Welsh football”.
The caretaker said: “It’s great when you have your best players and Brennan is definitely showing his worth.
“If you have them on the team roster, you will certainly not only get carried away by the centre-forwards but also by your teammates around you.
“Brennan is growing game by game and has a bright future ahead of him.”
Page admitted he wasn’t worried about Bale scoring from the penalty spot against Turkey after his miss at Euro 2020 against Turkey.
He added: “It wasn’t a surprise, he’s a strong character. I fully expected him to step forward and take the penalty.
“He’s missing one goal in 40 and it would be nice if he breaks that in Qatar, or sooner if we have two games in September.
“We ask him to play in a slightly different position, but we all know what he’s capable of with his free-kicks.
“He almost got one last week. A lot can still come from him.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5571431/world-cup-wales-gareth-bale-brennan-johnson/ I can lighten Gareth Bale’s World Cup burden and score the goals in Qatar, says Wales star Brennan Johnson