ADAM JOHNSON believes Sunderland’s team spirit has been at the heart of their revival under Gus Poyet.
Morale in the Black Cats camp hit rock bottom during the final days of ex-boss Paolo Di Canio’s reign, with full-back Phil Bardsley claiming it was “beyond dead” in an interview last month.
But the mood in the Sunderland dressing room has improved markedly since the appointment of head coach Poyet.
And that has translated into results, with Sunderland taking 10 points from their last four Premier League games and securing a place in next month’s Capital One Cup final.
“The team spirit here is as good as anywhere I’ve been at,” said winger Johnson.
“The manager has brought that and everyone seems to be really friendly to each other.
“That’s how it should be and it’s showing on the pitch.”
Johnson was always confident that Sunderland could produce a dramatic turnaround over the second half of the season after they had been cast adrift at the Premier League’s basement.
The England international, who has been in stunning form over the last month, publicly insisted before Christmas that Sunderland could take advantage of a run of games against sides in the bottom half of the table.
And Poyet’s side face the chance to further improve their survival prospects in Saturday’s visit of Steve Bruce’s Hull City, as Sunderland look to record three successive league wins.
“It’s just been a great few weeks for the team, not just me personally,” said Johnson.
“Even a couple of months ago, we got written off when we were seven points adrift.
“But when you looked at our fixtures against the teams around us, I said our time would come and it has.
“The Stoke win last week was massive for us. That was a huge game and we needed to get the three points.
“Then the most important thing against Newcastle was the three points and we move on again.
“That’s just pushed us on and you can see the confidence brimming in the lads.
“We’ve got Hull on Saturday and there’s still a lot of football still to be played.
“We can’t wait for the next games to keep coming and if we can get three points against Hull, that would be huge again.”