The 25-year-old completed a £12m switch from Manchester City to the Black Cats last summer, with one eye on playing regular football after missing out on a spot in the EURO 2012 squad.
However, he has failed to impress in his 27 Premier League outings, seeing the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Leon Osman moving ahead of him in the pecking order for England.
Johnson admitted that it is tough to be looking at the Three Lions’ set-up from the peripheries, and says that he wants to force his way back in:
“When you are playing for a winning team who are flying then I think it is a lot better,” he told Sky Sports.
“Obviously it is a bit difficult when you are in a bit of a battle and your personal form could be better.
“I think it has gone through a bit of a tough time as a club. All those factors have a bearing on the squad.
“It is difficult watching from the outside. It hurts watching England play when you are not there.
“I have got to work hard, try and do my best and get back in the squad.”
Johnson made his England debut in 2010, after a series of impressive displays early in his Manchester City career.
As his game time dried up with the Sky Blues, so to did his chances of making the national team, with his last appearance midway through last year.
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