Sunderland midfielder Adam Johnson has said he doesn’t regret joining Manchester City as he embarks on the next chapter of his career in the north-east.
Johnson won both the FA Cup and Premier League at City after joining from Middlesbrough in January 2010.
He rejected an initial approach from the Black Cats in favour of City, but defended his move by claiming it was too good an opportunity to turn down.
“Looking back, I think anyone in my position would have signed for City at the time,” he said.
Johnson signed for Sunderland earlier this week for an undisclosed fee after making 97 appearances for City and scoring 15 goals, but 43 of those came from the bench – a major factor in his decision to switch the Ethiad Stadium for the Stadium of Light.
He has 11 caps for England and started in the recent 2-1 win over Italy, but Roy Hodgson understandably wants all of his senior players to be in action week in, week out.
Martin O’Neill has spoken publicly over his satisfaction in bringing the winger to Wearside, something Johnson believes has made him feel wanted – unlike under his previous manager at City.
Despite the great respect the City players have for Mancini, Johnson eluded to feeling trapped by the Italian’s somewhat overly-critical nature, but now feels he can re-ignite his career.
“You can only take so much criticism and no praise as a player; it doesn’t matter who you are.
“The other night, when I made my debut, it felt as if I’d had the chains taken off me. I was playing again and the manager has already given me that confidence and the freedom. Hopefully that’ll continue.”