We’ll lift spirits for Man Utd – Sunderland’s Johnson

Sunderland's Adam Johnson.
Sunderland's Adam Johnson.
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ADAM Johnson promises that Sunderland’s players will put their Norwich disappointment behind them long before they turn out at the Stadium of Light again.

The Black Cats’ next game is a formidable home fixture against champions elect Manchester United on Saturday week, before tough games against Chelsea, derby rivals Newcastle and Everton.

But Johnson insists that, when they face the Red Devils, there will be no hangover from the crushing disappointment of being unable to get all three points from 10-man Norwich last weekend.

He told the Echo: “Footballers are a resilient lot and the lads are already putting the weekend behind them.

“Training has been good. We’ve had a laugh. Had some shooting competitions and enjoyed it and I think that’s what you have to do – you have to come in and move forward rather than dwelling on any disappointment you might just have had.

“If you let bad results affect you going into your next game, you’d be lost”

Despite his confidence over future games, the Easington-born winger says that at the end of their 1-1 draw against the Canaries, Sunderland’s players felt just as desperate as their fans.

“It was a frustrating day,” the 25-year-old admitted. “And we’ve had a few of them this season!

“The mood in the dressing room afterwards was disappointed and angry because we wanted to get a good result.
“We all thought we would get it and we didn’t, so you can understand how we felt.

“We were just trying to get a good result and get the wheels turning again, but it’s difficult to break 10 men down sometimes in the way you’re expected to.

“I think when the other team has 10 men, everyone on that side looks to work a little harder.

“But, even given the fact that Norwich defended quite well, we didn’t really do enough to break them down to be honest.

“The manager didn’t have a go at individuals, he was more unhappy about how we performed as a team.

“But we’ve just got to get ourselves together again, train hard for the next couple of weeks and then go in the big game.

“We know we have to do better.

“So it’s back to the drawing board because we can’t do anything about the Norwich result now except let it go.”

The depressing draw against Norwich was the last in a long line of under-whelming results by the Wearsiders, who have taken just three points from their last 21.

That run has led to Sunderland subsiding towards the foot of the Premier League, with the Black Cats attracting a lot of flak from their fans along the way. But Johnson says he and his team-mates have to hold their nerve and focus on trying to spark a revival.

“When you are winning it is easier – it goes well for you and goes well for the team,” he said.

“But when things aren’t going well, people get down – the team, the fans, everything – it’s part of the game.

“A couple of good wins, though, and it changes very quickly and everyone’s happy again.

“When it goes bad, it can seem that there’s no way out, but we’ve got a couple of important games coming up and it’s important not to dwell on what we should have done previously.

“When it’s going well you can be the best player in the world and when it’s going bad you could be the worst, but I think, as a club, we just have to stick together.

“A few weeks ago, we won a few games and all everyone was talking about was us pushing for the top half of the table – so that’s just football.

“It’s important not to be affected by that. I just want to get on with my game and do as well as I can from now to the end of the season. The rest of the lads feel the same way, so I can promise when the next game comes around, we’ll all be up for it.”