ADAM JOHNSON is looking forward to the impact Danny Graham will have on Sunderland’s attacking threat.
And he says that having fresh signing Graham and leading scorer Steven Fletcher to aim at in the box in the dying minutes of the Reading game gave the team a new attacking dimension.
Johnson put in a cross and a corner from which Graham might have scored a dream debut goal in front of 2,000 travelling Sunderland fans, and he also slipped Alfred N’Diaye in on goal, only for the Frenchman to miss a good chance.
Former Manchester City wideman Johnson believes that Graham will go on to prove that that sort of influence on a game is no flash in the pan from his former Middlesbrough team-mate.
He told the Echo: “I think Danny’s a great signing for us. He’s a quality striker and he just seems to have that knack of getting in the right place in the right time for when the ball drops in the area.
“He’s here to score goals and I’m sure he will.
“You could see the effect he had when he came on in the game against Reading and from a winger’s point of view, it’s great to have someone to hit in the box.
“Sometimes when you’re playing and you have two men around you and one striker in the box with two men around him, it’s difficult to do anything.
“But when all of a sudden you have to two strikers in the box it can make a real difference.
“I’ve said before to Fletch that when there’s just him in the box, it can be so hard to play him in.
“But when you’ve got more bodies in the box, you can often really get at teams.”
Johnson says it is no surprise that Graham, who was released by Middlesbrough as a youngster should go on to establish himself in the top flight.
He said: “We were all surprised that he was released at the time – myself, Lee Cattermole who was there at the time, I think even Academy director Dave Parnaby was – but we had a lot of strikers come in at the time and he was the one who they decided to let go.
“I always thought he would do well though and he’s shown that straight away from doing well at all the clubs he’s played for before getting the move to Sunderland.”