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The 25-year-old arrived from Manchester City for £10 million last year, but is disappointed with his displays as the Black Cats struggled against relegation throughout the season

Sunderland winger Adam Johnson has branded his debut season at the Stadium of Light as the "worst" of his career.

The 25-year-old was a big-money arrival from Manchester City last summer under former boss Martin O’Neill, but struggled to replicate the form that saw him break into the England setup and command a £10 million fee.

Johnson points out that his goals and assists return is not as poor as some may be led to believe, but he is still keen on a vast improvement next term.

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"It's been the worst season of my career as a whole, I think," he told the Northern Echo. "I actually haven't been that bad on the stats side of things, but performances haven't been what I've wanted.

"If you go through goals and assists, I haven't done that bad but performances have been sometimes. As a whole you look at yourself and you're honest with yourself.

"I think in general, everything hasn't gone well. We've got to look forward to next season now. It's all we can do."

Johnson has also backed new manager Paolo Di Canio’s hard-line regime to reap rewards, following news that seven first-team squad members have complained to their union.

"He's come in, and managers have new things that they want to do," he added. "The gaffer is big on discipline and if it means us getting more wins, I'm all for it.

"There's nothing worse than losing game after game after game after game all season. I haven't been used to that in my career, so it's been difficult.

"It's been poor, very poor, I think. The table doesn't lie. I think the only thing that we can say is that the only way is up for us now. We can't get any lower to be honest. We survived, and now next season all we can do is progress. That's the positive way of looking at it.

"I'm looking forward to next season and I want to improve, as far as I'm aware, I'll be here. Over the summer you never know, it's always up to the manager. Time will tell what happens."

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