Adam Johnson: Sunderland have kick started season

STAR MAN: Adam Johnson
STAR MAN: Adam Johnson
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ADAM Johnson believes Sunderland’s victory over Reading, rather than Southampton, provided the foundations for Boxing Day’s triumph against Manchester City.

Success against the reigning Premier League champions handed Sunderland back-to-back top flight victories for the first time since March after Martin O’Neill’s secured a crucial three points against Southampton last weekend.

The win at St Mary’s, which gave Sunderland breathing space with the relegation zone, had clearly given the Cats a major confidence boost ahead of the City clash.

But England winger Johnson says the victory over basement boys Reading two-and-a-half weeks ago was the start of Sunderland’s resurgence, even though they lost to league leaders Manchester United four days later.

Johnson said: “I think the win over Reading here was a big game as well as Southampton. That was the kick-start for us.

“I know we went to Old Trafford a few days later and we didn’t play our best, but we were still a threat.

“The win at Southampton lifted us again. Wednesday showed the confidence is coming back.”