Aron Johannsson’s first competitive match in 2020 for Swedish Allsvenskan side Hammarby couldn’t have went better for the veteran striker.
Hammarby rolled to a 5-1 Svenska Cupen win over Varbergs Bois on Monday with Johannsson earning his first start of the season. Not only did Johannsson jump into the squad, he scored his first brace for the club in what easily could’ve been a much larger scoreline for the hosts. He also registered his second assist for the club.
“We won 5-1 and I scored two goals it’s great, but there’s still a lot we can improve on,” Johannsson said in a postmatch interview. “In the end we’re happy at 5-1 so we can’t beat ourselves up over the small mistakes.”
Johannsson made only 11 appearances for Hammarby last season since making the move from Bundesliga side Werder Bremen in July. He scored once in cup play, but only registered one assist in 10 Allsvenskan appearances for Stefan Billborn’s side.
Now fit and ready to go, the 29-year-old is confident for a strong season ahead with Hammarby who missed the 2019 league title by one point behind winners Djurgarden.
“I wouldn’t say I was waiting for it [the goals], I always knew that when I was fit and healthy and played a few games that I could get scoring again,” Johannsson said. “I have faith in my ability and what I can do so it’s really about getting more minutes and getting into better shape fitness wise.”
“You saw today I wouldn’t have scored if it wasn’t for my teammates. We played very good attacking football. I am thankful for the opportunity and I am always looking to score and win. Hopefully it’s the beginning of a very good season.”
In 242 combined professional appearances, Johannsson has scored 83 goals while registering 22 assists. His goalscoring ability is something that’s been lacking since his move to Sweden, but it’s something that looks to finding its way back after Monday’s win.
“I think in the end you create your own luck,”Johannsson said. “I think last season due to my fitness, I was not in the right spaces at the right times of games. I’ve been working on that and I’ve been training really well and creating good chances for myself. As a striker it’s about the work you put in and I feel I am doing that.”
Hammarby still remain over a month-and-a-half away until their Allsvenskan opener, but have two more Svenska Cupen matches coming over the next two weeks. A team that fought to the wire for a league crown in 2019 will certainly be a favorite to battle for this season’s title with the likes of Djurgarden, Malmo, and AIK.
Johannsson’s next chances at adding to his two goals will come on March 1st at Brommapojkarna and March 8th against Sundsvall. The striker is eager to remain a focal point of the squad going forward and help them to more victories with the league season right around the corner.
“It’s only the first game of the season and we have plenty of time to improve, so I think we will do that,” Johannsson said. “I think we can be more patient with the ball and control the game a little bit better. We will get better with time. I think we have a good group here and we are very ambitious so that will only help us along the way.”