LEE CATTERMOLE is in no doubt that former Middlesbrough team-mate Adam Johnson will prove to be a “great” signing for Sunderland.
Despite a sparkling debut against League Two Morecambe, Johnson is still to produce the form which persuaded Martin O’Neill to shell out £10million for the Easington-born winger during the summer.
Injuries haven’t helped Johnson after the start of the 25-year-old’s Sunderland career was hampered by a thigh problem aggravated on England duty, but he has been unable to inject the creativity so evidently missing from the Black Cats’ ranks.
But skipper Cattermole, who graduated from the Boro academy alongside Johnson, has complete faith that the former Manchester City man will come good and suspects he is just lacking a touch of confidence.
Cattermole told the Echo: “There’s nothing to worry about with Johnno. He’s training right and it’s going to come. Sometimes it just takes a bit of confidence.
“His first game was Morecambe when he set the world alight, but the Premier League is different. Then he had that injury, but there’s no doubting his ability.
“He’s an England international and he knows how to play the game.
“He’s going to be great for us and once the team scores a couple of goals, there’ll be no worries.”
Cattermole believes Sunderland’s attacking woes as a whole can be attributable to a shortage of confidence going forward, with the Wearsiders finding the net just six times in eight Premier League outings prior to today’s clash with Aston Villa.
The 24-year-old stresses that time is needed for Sunderland to become a cohesive threat, pointing out that the Black Cats didn’t find their best form until the second half of last season.
“At the minute, it’s just a bit of confidence in the final third,” added the midfielder.
“It takes time and I think we played our best football in the second half of the season last year. We’ve brought some big players to the club this year and it takes them time to adjust.
“Once we score and create a couple of goals, I think the confidence will flow. I don’t think scoring goals will be a problem this season.”