With just one win from six games, the team is now focused on performing well in its last two fixtures - the first of which is against Canterbury at the University Oval tomorrow.
''If Wellington don't do anything and we pick up maximum points from our last two games then we might creep in,'' Johnson said.
''Look, I think you have to be realistic, I don't think there is any chance, really.
''But we want to finish the season strongly. The Otago public need to see the team still has character and still got all those things which we displayed all season.
''We haven't been able to qualify for the playoffs but, if we look back, the sporting public and Otago cricket should be very proud of what this team has achieved. It would be nice to go out on a winning note rather than just drifting through the competition.''
While Otago has had a disappointing one-day campaign, the team burned up plenty of mental energy during its successful twenty/20 campaign and efforts to win the Plunket Shield.
The team has also had to make do without the likes of Hamish Rutherford, Neil Wagner and Ian Butler, who have been on national duty.
Despite those setbacks, Otago has still been able to field some strong sides but the performances have lacked the lustre of the earlier efforts in the summer, Johnson said.
''I don't think we've played particularly good cricket. We've seemed to bat well in one game and not so well in another. Then we'd bowled well and not so well in other games.
''Obviously, when you lose three or four players to the Black Caps ... it does test your resources a little bit.''
''There was a lot of pressure on, and the players did exert a lot of energy ... during a hectic and tiring [HRV Cup] campaign. We were also involved for all 10 rounds of the Plunket Shield, and to be up for 40 days of cricket made for a long campaign.''
The team has had 70 nights away from Dunedin and signs the team was starting to fade were there to see on the last day of the Plunket Shield, when Otago was dismissed for 145 chasing 200 for victory against Wellington.
Had Otago reached the target it may have been enough to add the Plunket Shield to its twenty/20 title.
Otago has made two changes from the team which lost to Northern Districts by 92 runs in Mt Maunganui on Wednesday. Ian Butler returns from international duty and Sam Blakely has been included. All-rounder Iain Robertson and spinner Mark Craig drop out of the 12.
With little but pride at stake, the time might be right to blood Blakely, a 19-year-old right-arm seamer from the North East Valley club.