Ross County right-back Callum Johnson has spent hours off the pitch learning about the Scottish Premiership.
A summer arrival at Dingwall is Johnson’s first time north of the border having plied his trade in the English League Two with Accrington Stanley and then one level higher with Accrington, Portsmouth and Fleetwood Town.
There’s always an adjustment period for new signings, even more so when they move to a whole new league, but the Middlesbrough freshman says he’s been keeping tabs on other games for potential opponents that he will come. versus.
“I must have played around 200 games in Ligue 1 and I know all the wingers, whether they are left-handed or right-handed, whether they follow me when I run forward, whether they are good in the air”, Johnson said.
“I probably know pretty much every player in Ligue 1. Here I spoke to Enda Barron, the club’s analyst, and got to know the players.
“There are some that I recognize from having played in England, like the Hearts and Aberdeen players, but it’s a new challenge for me to meet new players. There are a lot of good players in this league, as we saw against Celtic on Saturday.
“I was in Ligue 1 for four and a half seasons, so unless clubs had a new player, maybe on loan from a Premier League club for example, I knew the players in the league.
“I would always watch analysis clips, but with Enda here at Ross County, we can watch left wingers and left backs bombing and he’ll tell me about their strengths and weaknesses.
“We’ll be playing these teams three or four times this season so I’ll get to know them soon. Even in the first half against Celtic I was watching, I was watching their wingers and that means the next time we play Celtic , you can incorporate what you learned from watching into this game.
“It’s extremely important, especially for me who left England.”
Ability to step up
Although Johnson has already made four appearances for the Staggies across the Premier Sports Cup and Premiership, he has yet to step onto the pitch for over an hour.
With Connor Randall’s injury against Celtic last weekend likely to sideline him until the end of the year, the 25-year-old will likely get his chance to establish himself in the squad.
It often happens that a setback for one player results in an opportunity for another, and while Johnson hardly wanted his teammate to get hurt, he fully intends to make his mark in the meantime.
“It’s never nice to see someone hurt, it’s just part of the game,” Johnson added.
“There is competition for every position. Each team in the country will have more than one player for each position.
“It’s good for the team, especially when you push each other. I’ve always had competition, but I’ve managed to play a lot of games in my career.
“You have to fight and work as hard as you can and that brings out the best in you – so when an opportunity arises you just have to take it.
“Good competition within the team as a whole can only bode well for this season. Everyone will push themselves to the limit to make sure they are the ones playing.
“Connor and I get on well, I knew him when I was younger and I was at Middlesbrough and he helped me settle in.
“We both want to play in the team and it’s a shame he’s injured. I hope he comes back soon and we can push each other. Whoever is the better player will play – that’s how football is