Johnson: Di Canio can make impact

Sunderland winger Adam Johnson has backed new boss Paolo Di Canio to unlock a fresh belief in the club.

Last Updated: 06/04/13 at 15:03 Post Comment

Adam Johnson: Backed new boss Paolo Di Canio

Adam Johnson: Backed new boss Paolo Di Canio

Sunderland winger Adam Johnson has backed new boss Paolo Di Canio to unlock a fresh belief in the relegation-threatened club.

Di Canio's first Barclays Premier League game in charge will be against Chelsea on Sunday.

Di Canio, who has proved to be a controversial appointment on Wearside following the sacking of Martin O'Neill in the wake of last weekend's 1-0 defeat by Manchester United, has only had a week to prepare the Black Cats for his first match at the helm.

Sunderland are currently only one point clear of the relegation zone with seven games remaining, including tough fixtures against rivals Newcastle at St James' Park, Everton at the Stadium of Light and a difficult encounter against Tottenham on the last day of the season.

However, Johnson, who has struggled to recapture his best form this season, believes the former Swindon manager could be the perfect tonic to Sunderland's on-field problems after their continued poor form has seen them winless in their last eight games.

"He's a confident manager and wants to make his players feel like they're the best players in the world," Johnson told safc.com.

"I think he's going to get the best out of the lads. He demands your best and we will have to work hard.

"When players are full of confidence they're going to play well, so hopefully we can take that into Sunday because it's a tough game and a big game."

Di Canio has brought in a new backroom staff to the club's training set-up but they have had little time to prepare the squad for one of their toughest fixtures in the Premier League calendar.

Chelsea have beaten Sunderland in 15 of their last 16 top-flight encounters, with the Black Cats' last win over the Blues their 3-0 triumph at Stamford Bridge in November 2010.

Di Canio, who has happy memories of playing at Stamford Bridge - a venue where he scored a spectacular long-range volley when playing for West Ham in 2006, has seen his task of hitting the ground running made even trickier due to the club's injury crisis.

Midfielder David Vaughan (groin) and defender Carlos Cuellar (ankle) are both doubts while captain Lee Cattermole (knee surgery) and striker Steven Fletcher (ankle ligaments) will both miss the rest of the season.

Despite this, Johnson says Di Canio has wasted no time in mapping out his masterplan to steer Sunderland away from the bottom three.

"It's been a lot different," Johnson said.

"Everyone is still getting used to it but it's so far so good, really. It's probably what we need. Everyone is excited and can't wait to play."

"He's full of enthusiasm and energy. If you do well for him he's going to be a great boss to play for.

"I think any time a new manager comes in everything happens so quickly and it's on top of you. It's difficult coming in just a week before a game and the gaffer is trying to get his points across.

"It's a lot to take in all at once but come Sunday I think we will know what he wants from us."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

O

K FIFA we're done, you can ban us now

jimmyjazz
Barcelona transfer ban upheld

A

h Daniel. I could spend hours on this subject putting the world to rights. You can even take a step back and ask why football fans (and society in general) have this need to know that something will happen before it actually does. There are times this important, when it comes to things like war, food production and natural disasters. A man you've never met changing his job? Not so much.

ajsr1982
Time To Burst The ITK Bubble

G

reat article. Hits the nail on the head. Encapsulates why I don't read tabloid newspapers anymore. The only thing worse is the 'told you so first' headline when they get lucky.

ianonabeach
Time To Burst The ITK Bubble

Footer 365

Transfer news: Marco Reus said to have turned down move to Manchester United

Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has told Onda Cero that Marco Reus rejected a move to Man Utd this summer.

Transfer News: Swansea complete deal for Napoli defender Federico Fernandez

Swansea City have signed defender Federico Fernandez from Napoli for an undisclosed fee.

FIFA committee rejects Barcelona's appeal against transfer ban

Barcelona will be unable to sign new players in the next two windows after a FIFA committee upheld their transfer ban.

Mail Box

So Long And Good Luck To Nani

A Mailbox that offers best wishes to a departing hero, defends Olivier Giroud, tells us to steady on over Calum Chambers and makes some amusing predictions...

Mailbox: Feeling Sorry For Poor TC23

If there's one loser in all the machinations at Man United, it's poor TC23. We have mercifully few mails on United, but lots on Arsenal and in particular Olivier Giroud...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property