O’Neill delighted with Johnson signing

Sunderland winger Adam JohnsonSunderland manager Martin O’Neill yesterday expressed his delight after managing to lure former Manchester City winger Adam Johnson to the Stadium of Light for a fee of around £10 million.

Johnson, 25, made a promising start to his Manchester City career, scoring his first goal for the club in a 1-1 draw away at Sunderland. However, his first team opportunities at the Etihad have been few and far between of late, and a move away from Manchester seemed evident.

O’Neill told BBC Radio Newcastle: “I’m delighted he’s chosen us. I’m thrilled for the supporters who now get a chance to be excited by him.” O’Neill also believes that Johnson has made a wise career move if his aspirations of playing for England are to be fulfilled: “If he’s playing more regularly and playing well, it’s a big goal of Adam’s to play well for his country.”

O’Neill added that the signings of Johnson and Scottish striker Steven Fletcher demonstrates Sunderland’s desire to attain a higher league position than their 13th-placed finish last campaign: “We want to try to do better than last season, plus keeping the ingredients that got us out of trouble – that spirit the players possessed, although it faded towards the back end of last season once we had achieved Premier League status – there was a drop off in intensity.”

Johnson made an impressive start to his Sunderland career last night, albeit up against a Morecambe  side from League 2. The England international provided two assists for the talented James McClean in a comfortable 2-0 victory for the Black Cats.