Johnson hails O’Neill factor

The England winger signed a four-year contract with the Black

Cats on Friday after struggling to secure a regular starting spot

during his time at Manchester City.

The former Middlesbrough youngster was also linked with the

likes of Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, but explained why he

plumped for the Stadium of Light.

“It feels fantastic [to be here],” he told the club’s official

website. “I was born here and there have been rumours in the past

about me coming here.

Fresh start

“It’s great to have signed and it’s a fresh start.

“Coming back to the North East and Martin O’Neill were the two

main factors, especially the gaffer and listening to what he had to

say to me.

“He made it clear just how much he wanted me to come here. To

know that and feel wanted and appreciated made me feel that it was

the right choice to sign.

“He knows exactly what he wants from his players and from me

personally. Hopefully he’ll give me plenty of confidence as

well.”

O’Neill, who has also added Steven Fletcher to his squad,

labelled the capture of Johnson as a ‘real coup’ for Sunderland due

to the competition for his signature.

The Black Cats boss said: “To get Adam, it’s really, really big

news for us, big news. It’s a real coup.

“He’s a fantastic footballer and he’s really exciting. I just

think if he stays clear of serious injury, he will be great for us,

really great.

“I am pleased he has chosen to come here because at Manchester

City, he might not have been playing all the time there and maybe

it seemed as if he might be leaving.

“But to come to us instead of a number of other teams who were

definitely in for him, I was just very, very pleased, pleased for

everyone.”