Adam Johnson: Sunderland have kick started season

STAR MAN: Adam Johnson
STAR MAN: Adam Johnson

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.”