Adam Johnson: Sunderland must beat teams around them

The 25-year-old wideman has called on the Mackems to start hitting a run of form as they approach a run of fixtures against their closest Premier League rivals
Sunderland winger Adam Johnson has insisted his side must find form ahead of a run of fixtures against the teams around them in the Premier League.

The Mackems face 11th-placed West Ham at home on Saturday, and have won two of their last three games at the Stadium of Light.

And the former Manchester City wideman is hoping to continue that run, as the Black Cats look to climb the table.

He told the club's official website: “The team have picked up over the last few weeks, and there have been some tough games – playing three of the top five clubs.

“The fixtures we’ve got coming up now are with the teams around us in the league and these are the ones we should be going out and winning.”

15/2 Adam Johnson is 15/2 to score first with Paddy Power when Sunderland face West Ham
Martin O'Neill's men were denied victory over the Hammers earlier in the season by a 93rd-minute Kevin Nolan goal, but Johnson is hopeful of avoiding a repeat performance.

“Their late equaliser earlier in the season was tough to take - it was the last kick of the game," he added.

“The lads were upset about it and it’s important to go out and put that right. However, it’s more important that we get the three points, but of course the win would be all the sweeter after the result down there.”

The 25-year-old has scored three goals and notched four assists since joining the club, but is keen to improve upon that in the coming months.

He continued: “Goals and assists are my game and I’d like to be getting amongst it a bit more, but it’s been difficult for the whole team.

“Hopefully I can contribute some more and have a hand in the goal that the team do score.

“I think the team can take confidence from the second half performance ahead of Saturday’s game, we need to build on our attacking play and put away the chances we create.

“Obviously it’s a different game but it’s going to be another physical test, but one we can hopefully take three points from.”