THE original fox in the box, Francis Jeffers, may not have had the most prolific spell at Motherwell a few years back, but Danny Johnson is fast setting about claiming the nickname for his own in his short stay at Fir Park so far.

The striker scored the opening goal yesterday as Motherwell deservedly saw off a struggling Dundee side by three goals to one, a predatory finish as he took advantage of a slip by Genseric Kusunga for his third goal in as many games.

“It’s a fantastic start,” former Gateshead man Johnson said. “If someone had asked me if I would have four goals by now, three in three starts, I’d have snatched their hand off.

“It’s been a bit step up, but I’ve adjusted pretty quickly, and I’ve had to keep my place in the team

It was tough the first few weeks finding my feet, but I did that quickly.

“The first half I wasn’t quite there but the ball has fallen to me in the box and I didn’t even look where the goal was I knew just going to spin and get that shot away and it went in. Just give me half a chance and that’s all I need.

“I’ve always been a fox in the box so to speak. I suppose a few of my goals last season were two touch finishes, but this season they seem to be dropping for me first time.”

Johnson’s goal was a crucial breakthrough early in the second half that was just reward for their domination of the game to that point, and it knocked the stuffing out of the Premiership’s bottom side. The excellent Gael Bigirimana added another from a free-kick before a brief flurry from the home side saw them pull a goal back through Benjamin Kallman.

Trevor Carson then had to look lively to save from Paul McGowan and Kallman to prevent Neil McCann’s men from drawing level, but the game was put to bed when Allan Campbell took advantage of the home side falling asleep at the back again to give Motherwell their first league win of the season.

As for Dundee, there was precious little to be positive about as they head into the international break rock bottom of the standings and without a point to their name.

They were disjointed and gave Motherwell far too much time on the ball throughout the game. They failed to press, and when they did have the ball, all too often the plan was simply to hoof it forward towards an exasperated Kenny Miller, who was marshalled expertly by the Motherwell back three.

It doesn’t bode well for manager McCann that his own team’s supporters were signing to him that he would get sacked in the morning.

The one slight sliver of hope that they could draw from yet another loss was the contribution of on-loan Celtic man Calvin Miller on the left after he came off the bench, setting up Dundee’s goal from a corner delivery and teeing up the other two chances that almost drew his new side level.

He is hoping that it is just a taster of what he can contribute in attacking areas for the Dens Park club in his season at the club.

“It was obviously a disappointing result, but it was good for me to make my debut for Dundee,” Miller said. “I was delighted to do that and it’s a good bunch of boys here, so hopefully we can get together and move on from this and try to win the next game.

“I felt I gave a wee bit of life to the game and that was always my objective. I’ve missed being higher up the park, being able to take people on and feed people, so getting an assist was good for me but I’m still disappointed by the result.

“Hopefully I will soon be starting and playing week in, week out.”

Miller is relishing that opportunity to get first-team football under his belt, which he realises he was never likely to get at Celtic with Kieran Tierney and now Emilio Izaguirre ahead of him in the pecking order at left-back.

He isn’t giving up on his dream of making it with the Glasgow giants, but he isn’t prepared to allow his career to stagnate either.

“ I just felt at Celtic I’ve obviously got Kieran Tierney in front of me there, he’s just a year older than me and game time is obviously important to him. But I can’t wait about, I need to go and take my career by the scruff of the neck and go and get game time and prove I am a player. I can’t just wait about.

“I’ve come here to play games, to show that I am ready if I am needed back if Kieran goes away. That’s my objective.”