Lee Johnson on THAT fan exchange on Saturday afternoon - and marking one year in charge with uplifting Sunderland win
Lee Johnson admitted he shouldn't have reacted to an angry fan at full time on Saturday afternoon, but says he will happily share a drink with him in the future.
The Sunderland head coach had been accused of swearing at a fan in the aftermath of the 1-1 draw with Oxford United, which he emphatically denied.
But he admitted that he should not have reacted at all and after watching his side beat Morecambe 5-0 said that he understood the frustration and that he is 'fighting for the same cause'.
“I love the fans here, I really do," Johnson said.
"I probably shouldn’t have reacted (at the weekend), but it was just [me being] protective [over] of the players at the time.
"I definitely didn’t do what the individual said I did, but we all want the same thing.
"We’re fighting for the same cause, so if I ever bump into my good friend we’ll have a drink and talk about all things Sunderland."
Monday had marked the first anniversary of his tenure in charge of the Black Cats, and he felt there were signs of his side returning to their best form in the quality of the attacking play on show.
“It’s always good to celebrate an anniversary, especially with a win," he said.
"I’m very happy. We continue our trajectory, and that’s us unbeaten in five now. You’re always looking for that two points a game average to get somewhere where you want to be, and we’re on track for that.
"We had that bit of football arrogance today.
"We tried do the right things and not get bored of doing the right things, and I think that's what made the win so resounding."
Johnson said he was happy to let others judge his progress one year on, and said he was still hugely enthusiastic about the project at the club.
“All I can say is that myself and the staff are working extremely hard," he said.
"We’ve got a lot of holes in the organization that the club are investing in. There’s a lot of historic baggage that we have to cope with, and we’ve had to cut our cloth accordingly because of COVID-19.
"But I still come in every day with that buzz feeling of trying to lead people, drive the club forward, develop the individual players and keep improving us as a team.
"I enjoy that part, and I’m sure I will until the day I leave."
After receiving a hugely positive reception from supporters at the final whistle, Johnson thanked the Stadium of Light crowd for creating an upbeat atmosphere from the first whistle in what were horrendous weather conditiions on Wearside.
“Right from the start, you could feel the vibe," he said.
"It was really positive from the start. We started well and it’s been like that.
"I wasn’t expecting it because it was such a cold night and obviously a few less fans than normal because of the weather. I’m really pleased for the fans that turned up, we gave them a five-star show."