The 22-year-old grew up in Easington, County Durham, and, depsite being a ball boy at Newcastle United and coming through the ranks at Middlesbrough, it is Sunderland where the loyalties of many of his relatives lie.
"I went on a Sunderland soccer course as a young lad, and the first game I ever went to was at Roker. I was so young I hardly remember. My dad took me, we went with relatives," Johnson told City's official website.
"Our family are Sunderland fans - not so much my mum and dad, but aunties and uncles and cousins. They will all be at the game but they'll be sitting in the Sunderland end.
"Lots of my friends are Sunderland fans too. Most people at school were Sunderland supporters - a few were Newcastle and nobody was Boro! I'm sure I'll be getting plenty of texts!"
Despite his Boro links, Johnson still has warm feelings for Sunderland and wishes all of the North East clubs well this season.
"I've played at the Stadium of Light. Stewie Downing missed a penalty, which he won't thank me for saying, and we got beat," he added.
"I'm hoping it will be a lot different on Sunday. We need the points with fourth place in mind. It'll be good to go back though I'll probably get a mixed reception as a former Boro player.
"But I've a soft spot for Sunderland, and all the North East teams. Newcastle are probably nailed on to go up, but for the sake of everyone at Boro I'd like to see them up soon as well."
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