Johnson defends Sunderland form

The former Manchester City winger believes that the amount of goals and assists he has contributed should be considered by fans who are unhappy with his impact at the club
Adam Johnson has defended his performances this season in the face of criticism from some Sunderland fans.

The winger, who signed for the Black Cats from Manchester City in the summer, has struggled to live up to expectations following his £10 million move and has also failed to add to his 14 England caps. However, he believes if fans took into account his statistics they would see he has delivered.

"I know that fans aren't happy but I have scored four goals this season," Johnson told reporters. "I've put in more crosses than anyone else and I've had assists for 11 goals too.

"Those are the stats I prefer to concentrate on because they help give you confidence. The people who are ahead of me on the assists list are mainly at the top five clubs.

"They are the likes of Juan Mata, Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie - so that's not bad company to be in - and I'm the only player in that group who is in the bottom half of the table.

"Obviously, people don't really see that, or look at those sort of things.

"That's what I have to focus on though because it is important you keep your self-belief if you want to contribute to the side."

While Johnson is adamant that not all his criticism is deserved, he does admit that there are improvements in his game which could be made.

"I still look at things and know I could have done better myself," he added. "I could have set up more goals with better crosses or finished better and I do think I could improve my general play too.

"I know wingers are all about delivery into the box but my overall play is something I'm also looking at.

"I have to say, though, that I'm reasonably satisfied with the stats against my name because they don't lie and I've been involved in a lot of the build-up to the goals.

"It would be better for me to receive the ball quicker and higher up the pitch, because it is tough for wingers to do damage when they have to go on a 60-yard run towards goal.

"But I'm not going to criticise the team because it's up to me to make that happen as well. You have to look at yourself first in this game."