ADAM Johnson was a major doubt for today’s game against his former club Manchester City,
The winger was substituted with quarter of an hour remaining in Saturday’s victory over Southampton, still struggling with the effects of a dead leg sustained in the win over Reading.
And the club were monitoring him to see whether he would be fit enough to play at the Stadium of Light today.
Manager Martin O’Neill said: “Adam came off at the weekend feeling pretty sore again.
“He thought he would be able to get through it going into the Southampton game but that proved not to be the case. So we’ll see how it goes.
“But we’ve still got a bit of time yet and the same goes for one or two players carrying the usual niggles.”
Seb Larsson was also substituted in the game at St Mary’s and has a troublesome knee but both he and Johnson remain in with a chance of being involved in a game which O’Neill says his players are looking forward to after getting three big points under their belts against Southampton
“Beating Southampton was important on a number of levels,” he said.
“It was a win, a win away from home, a win against the side around us and it builds confidence.
“The games will come thick and fast for us now but the players are now looking forward to them after getting that big, big win.
“Confidence is high, which it will need to be against Man City, and the players are looking forward to these games.
“Man City are the champions and they’re still chasing the championship this season so they’ll be on a mission I’m sure.
“They’ve got so many good players it doesn’t matter what team they select it will be a terrific one.
“But we’ll have a big Boxing Day crowd in and we want to go out there and give themselves something to enjoy.
“The fans have been terrific all the way through the season and the support we took down to Southampton was amazing..
“But they’ve been great, not just in that game, but lots of other games away to.
“And to see the crowd there in their droves just a few days before Christmas was tremendous.
“Now we have a big crowd at home on Boxing Day and we want to do our very best to give them as good a days as possible.”