Dundee United winger Justin Johnson has shown that he has an invaluable skill – the ability to listen to his boss.
The talented 19-year-old saw plenty of the ball in the Tangerines’ friendly against Forfar but in the first half he was wasn’t making the most of that possession.
After the break, Johnson’s game was transformed as he raced down the right side time after time to deliver crosses that should have been converted by his teammates.
His vastly-improved display was finally rewarded five minutes from time when he wriggled clear of the home defence before firing a shot between the legs of goalkeeper Grant Adam to earn a youthful United team a deserved 1-1 draw.
As most of those watching at Station Park suspected, the change in Johnson was due to words of advice delivered by manager Ray McKinnon at half-time.
The Dutch-born former Manchester United academy player was told to be more direct and, to his credit, he followed his gaffer’s orders to the letter.
If Johnson can keep up the form he showed in the latter part of that Forfar friendly then he will have a real chance of achieving his goal for the coming season, which is to be in or around McKinnon’s first team.
Johnson said: “In the first half at Forfar the team didn’t create that many chances but we worked a lot harder and played much better in the second.
“I was told to be a bit more direct with my own play and it worked out well.
“Every time I go out on to the park I try to play to the best of my ability, even in a friendly.
“It is always good to get a goal for your confidence, even if it is only pre-season.
“Now we are all excited about what lies ahead for the team.
“There is a really good feeling about the club just now.
“All the boys have come back for training determined to have a good season next season.
“The new manager has come in and we are all looking to impress him.
“My own target is to be involved at first-team level as much as I can be.”
McKinnon takes his team up the road again to face Brechin City tomorrow and, while this side will be more experienced than the one that played the Loons, Johnson may be involved again.
The United boss said: “Justin was excellent in the second half at Forfar and gave us a real spark.
“I told him to run at people and he must have created three or four good chances as well as scoring one himself.”
Meanwhile, the Tangerines are still expected to re-sign former midfielder Willo Flood from Aberdeen, with that deal all but done.