Sunderland news

O'Neill calms Johnson expectations

October 12, 2012
By Kristan Heneage

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill has warned fans not to expect Adam Johnson to rectify the club's lack of creativity single-handedly.

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Johnson, 25, joined the club from Manchester City in the summer but has since seen his first-team opportunities limited through injury.

But with the winger now fit again O'Neill is hoping the Black Cats faithful do not place too much expectation on his shoulders.

"I'm just a little concerned that people might be expecting him to come in and be winning every game for us because that's certainly not going to be the case," O'Neill told the Sunderland Echo.

"He's a real talent and I know he's going to be a great asset to this club. But he's only one player and it's a team game.

"Creatively, we have to be better and he has a part to play in that but then so do other players. It's about everyone taking responsibility and working hard to make things happen."

Despite his comments, the former Aston Villa boss revealed he is relatively happy with his side's start to their campaign - particularly from a defensive perspective - adding that he knows his side will improve as the season goes on.

"We've made a solid start to the season and I'm not unhappy with it," he said. "Defensively we've been solid but we need to be more effective in the final third and that's what we're all working on.

"It's still the start of the season though and I know the squad will continue to improve as it progresses."