ADAM JOHNSON says it would be “incredible” to give Sunderland supporters the chance to watch the Black Cats compete for a trophy for the first time in 22 years.
Almost 9,000 fans will be crammed into the away end at Old Trafford tonight for the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg, with 150 club-funded buses heading off in a convoy from the Stadium of Light this afternoon.
Sunderland’s faithful have not seen their side battle for silverware at Wembley since the 1992 FA Cup final, with the Wearsiders one game away from a first League Cup final in 29 years.
Easington-born Johnson hopes Sunderland can give the sold-out away end a memorable evening tonight and realises what it would mean to fans if the Black Cats can progress past Manchester United.
In-form Johnson told the Echo: “I think it’s going to be huge to have 9,000 fans there.
“The atmosphere is going to be amazing and if we could cap it off with the final, I don’t know what that would mean to them.
“It just shows how much it means to the Sunderland fans, the chance to go to a final.
“What a day out for everyone at the club that would be.
“It’s been a long time since this club has been at a final and for that to happen would be incredible.”
Gus Poyet joked yesterday that Johnson was the one player in his ranks that he would confirm was starting tonight after the England winger’s stunning return to form in 2014.
Sunderland will need Johnson to reproduce the threat he has shown over the last few weeks, as the Black Cats look to worry Man United on the counter-attack.
And while the former Middlesbrough man says Sunderland’s one-goal lead from the first leg could be crucial, the 26-year-old realises that the Black Cats must look to add to their advantage, rather than targeting a goalless draw.
“For all our fans and everything, we want to go there and make a game of it,” added Johnson.
“We’re not going to just sit back and soak up pressure.
“It’s up to United to come at us and we’ve got to show we’ve got the counter-attack to hurt them.
“I think it’s huge that we’re going there with an advantage.
“Going to Old Trafford knowing that you have to score goals is difficult. I’ve said that before.
“Now we’ve got something to hold onto and we’re confident after a good run of form away from home.”