Lee Johnson says Chris Maguire's provoking celebration wasn't a good look as Sunderland boss calls for a reaction against Accrington Stanley

Lee Johnson says Chris Maguire’s provoking celebration against Sunderland wasn’t a good look for the player – but insists he doesn’t hold any grudges.

Friday, 14th January 2022, 1:29 pm

Maguire, who was released by the Black Cats in the summer, scored a hat-trick for Lincoln as the Imps won 3-1 at the Stadium of Light.

The forward hardly featured for Sunderland in the second half of last season and wasn’t happy with how his spell on Wearside ended.

After netting the opener, Maguire ran down the touchline to celebrate directly in front of Johnson.

Sign up to our Sunderland AFC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Chris Maguire celebrates in front of Sunderland boss Lee Johnson.

When asked about the incident ahead of this weekend’s trip to Accrington Stanley, Johnson replied: “It’s not a nice scenario in one sense, I haven’t looked back at the clips but obviously I was there live so didn’t need to.

“I think sometimes players can confuse team selection with the human element. With all my players I want them to do well.

“Whether they have been with me five minutes or 10, 15 years, I will always be there for them so it’s disappointing when you see a reaction like that.

“At the same time it’s an interesting case study in terms of the psychology because Chris Maguire is a player who hasn’t done an awful lot, if I’m honest, in the last year but clearly has a lot of talent.

“The motivation that return to Sunderland has provided him has enabled him to score a hat-trick on the day and fair play to him.

“Do I think it’s particularly good for the player’s brand or club’s brand? No.

“At the same time football is very emotional and I won’t hold a grudge that’s for sure.

“In fact I look forward to seeing Chris do well for the rest of his career and throughout his life and family life.”

Johnson will be hoping for a response from his players when they face Accrington this weekend.

“I think we have to execute our game plan well, which is something we didn’t do against Lincoln,” he added.

“Every game is different and we are aware Accrington do a tremendous job with their resources.

“It will be a really good game and I expect both teams to affect the other with their philosophy."

A message from the Football Clubs Editor

Our aim is to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative Sunderland AFC coverage 365 days a year .

This depth of coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to, please consider taking out a subscription to our new sports-only package here.

Your support is much appreciated. Richard Mennear, Football Clubs Editor