Johnson hails new Sunderland mentality

Adam Johnson fires Sunderland level against Spurs on Saturday.

Adam Johnson fires Sunderland level against Spurs on Saturday.

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ADAM JOHNSON believes there is a “never give up mentality” in Sunderland’s ranks now.

Sunderland have recovered from going a goal down to register a point in three of their first four Premier League outings after continuing that pattern in Saturday’s 2-2 home draw against Spurs.

Spurs dominated the encounter, yet Sunderland battle back to level proceedings – a feat which Johnson believes would have been beyond them in previous seasons.

“Last season, or maybe the season before, we would probably have lost that by two or three,” said Johnson.

“But I think we’ve installed that never give up mentality now.

“No matter how long is left on the clock, we look as if we always might nick one.”

Spurs twice hit the woodwork, while Sunderland keeper Vito Mannone made several smart saves, but the Black Cats crucially remained in contention with Mauricio Pochettino’s impressive side.

“It was difficult,” said Johnson.

“It was an end-to-end game and it was a bit too open for us at times.

“But we battled on and showed that we can get results, no matter how long is left. We could have even won it at the end.

“I know they hit the woodwork a couple of times, but we had chances of our own.

“I think they had us pegged in, but I don’t think they looked like they were really going to hurt us.

“I don’t think they had loads of clear-cut chances.

“They had a lot of the ball and we were under pressure.

“But we soaked it up well and tried to create chances for ourselves.”

Johnson had cancelled out Nacer Chadli’s opener for Spurs in a breathless first four minutes, with the England winger beating two defenders before finding the net, albeit he received the help of a deflection.

It was the first league goal of the season for last year’s joint top scorer and Johnson revealed that he is keen to match his tally of 10 from last time around.

“I think it was on target and I’m happy to get off the mark,” he added.

“Hopefully I can get into double figures again this season.”