Sunderland’s Adam Johnson targets England World Cup place

GOAL ... Johnson.
GOAL ... Johnson.

ADAM Johnson hopes the dramatic improvement in his form will catch the attention of Roy Hodgson and see him recalled to the England squad in time for the World Cup.

Sunderland winger Johnson hasn’t represented his country since earning his 12th England cap in August 2012’s friendly victory over Italy.

But after netting his seventh goal in seven games in Saturday’s Tyne-Wear derby rout of Newcastle United, Johnson continued to push his claims for an international recall in time for the summer’s World Cup.

Johnson, who was one of seven players culled for the final 23-man World Cup squad in 2010, said: “Of course I’ve missed it. The best thing as a player is playing for England.

“A few months ago, I thought I had no chance, but now maybe. If there’s any time to do it, it’s now.

“I just missed out on the World Cup in 2010. It’s amazing how football comes around because here I am again.

“It’s for other people to decide, but there’s nothing much better than playing for England.

“I’ve just got to keep working hard and if it’s recognised, I’ll be delighted.”

Johnson’s second goal in as many seasons at St James’s Park proved to be a fatal blow for Newcastle United after the Easington-born man netted just four minutes after Fabio Borini’s opener.

But the 26-year-old was left ruing the one that got away after his stunning burst beyond three players and subsequent left-footed shot crashed off the outside of the post in the second half.

“I said to the manager and the lads afterwards that I was gutted when it hit the post!” he added.

“It would have been a great move and a good goal, but I’m happy with the one.

“I think the three points were probably the most important thing, but it just adds a bit extra when it comes on your rivals’ ground. I think even coming in on the bus, the lads were quietly confident.

“With them losing a couple of players, I think we were more confident than they were and I think that showed.

“We pushed forward most of the game and could have scored a few more.

“Especially on the counter-attack, the passing and movement of our front four and five are really causing teams problems.

“It’s starting to show every week now.”