The England winger was on the bench for their loss at Hull City - the first time he had been dropped since his move to the club.
But Johnson insists he has no problems battling for his place at the Stadium of Light.
"I spoke to the manager and I was fine with it. I understood," he told the Sunderland Echo.
"You've got to respect his decision and I was totally fine with that. Maybe it was a kick up the backside, but I didn't really feel like I needed it!
"It was the manager's decision and I'm back in the team now.
"I've only missed a half of football since I've been here so I wasn't too disappointed."
Johnson returned to the side in their win over his former club Manchester City last time out and he thinks that has given Sunderland a huge boost as they are now within three points of fourth bottom Stoke City.
"Now we're back in touching distance," said Johnson.
"If we can get another three or four points over the next few games, people won't be writing us off again.
"There's so much more football to be played. We didn't get carried away by where we were at the beginning of the season.
"We're still in a bit of trouble, but it looks a lot better now.
"The two home wins before Man City lifted us massively anyway. But that win gave us an extra lift going into the international break.
"That win was huge for us."
Sunderland now travel to Stoke this weekend for a huge match.
"The home games haven't been kind in recent weeks, but now we've got some winnable away games," he said.
"If we can keep a clean sheet, we know we can cause problems with our attack.
"I think it's important to go to Stoke and carry on what we've been doing and then we should come out with a good result."