DICK ADVOCAAT is glad to have welcomed Adam Johnson back into the fold after the winger’s return from suspension.
Johnson came on as a substitute in Sunderland’s 1-0 defeat at West Ham after his suspension was lifted by the club last week, following his arrest earlier this month.
The 27-year-old received a warm welcome from the sold-out away end, although he was also the subject of chants from the Hammers fans.
But new Sunderland boss Advocaat is pleased to have Johnson back available, with the Black Cats failing to improve their position in the relegation dogfight.
Advocaat said: “He came in on Wednesday and I spoke with him. Life goes on.
“He did well. He’s a very good player so I was happy that I could bring him in.
“That’s good to know that he will be available against Newcastle.”
While Newcastle’s nemsis Johnson will be available for the Wear-Tyne derby in a fortnight, so too will Lee Cattermole after the end of the midfielder’s two-game ban.
Advocaat has welcomed those options, while he was also happy to see Connor Wickham put in a much-improved display against the Hammers, in a role in behind front two Jermain Defoe and Steven Fletcher.
The Dutchman added: “Johnson for us is great player. Lee Cattermole is a good player, a steady player.
“The way I saw Wickham play, I was quite pleased about it too.
“We’ve done something in a short amount of time.
“I took a risk with Wickham in that position, but he played brilliantly.
“That’s a really positive thing.”