Carl Winchester's classy tribute to ex-Sunderland boss Lee Johnson and how he compares to Alex Neil

Carl Winchester says he has “respect” for former boss Lee Johnson following Sunderland’s win at Wembley.

The Black Cats won promotion to the Championship against Wycombe Wanderers, with head coach Neil getting the better Chairboys boss Gareth Ainsworth.

Winchester didn’t make the squad after picking up an injury towards the back end of Sunderland’s season.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Speaking after the game, the Northern Ireland international was quick to praise Neil and former boss Lee Johnson following the club’s win in London.

HIGH WYCOMBE, ENGLAND - JANUARY 08: Carl Winchester of Sunderland tackles Josh Scowen of Wycombe Wanderers during the Sky Bet League One match between Wycombe Wanderers and Sunderland at Adams Park on January 08, 2022 in High Wycombe, England. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)

It was Johnson who brought Winchester to Sunderland in the January of 2021 with the pair enjoying a good relationship from their time together at Oldham Athletic.

However, Johnson was sacked following Sunderland’s 6-0 loss to Bolton Wanderers 12 months on from Winchester’s arrival, with Neil replacing him at the Stadium of Light.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

When asked about Neil's impact, Winchester said: “He is brilliant. He has come in and has been brilliant to everyone.

"He is one of those managers who seem to be able to get the best out of people. He knew what we needed to do and he has done it.

“Everyone in this team will say the same thing about him. He is top drawer.”

On Johnson, Winchester added: “They are two great managers. I have the upmost respect for Lee Johnson. He brought me to this club from Forest Green, so I have total respect for Lee Johnson.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

I think he is a great manager as well, the same as Alex Neil. They are different in their own ways but I have nothing bad to say about either of them, they are both great managers.

“Alex Neil has been brilliant."