Manchester City v Sunderland: Adam Johnson says Capital One Cup victory would top City achievements

The winger says a victory on Sunday would be a career highlight

Adam Johnson admits winning the Capital One Cup with Sunderland would be the highlight of his career to date.

The 26-year-old has 11 senior England caps to his name, as well as winners medals in the Barclays Premier League, FA Cup and Community Shield from his time at Manchester City and an FA Youth Cup triumph with first club Middlesbrough.

However, given that the current campaign has seen the Black Cats dispense with Paolo Di Canio after a disastrous start which propelled them into a desperate fight for top-flight survival, victory over City at Wembley on Sunday would be little short of remarkable.

Johnson said: "Especially the way the season has gone and playing City, it would probably be the highlight of my career, especially with Sunderland.

"When I was at City winning trophies and things, it was half-expected. But at Sunderland, no-one has even given us a chance of winning anything, so to bring that back would be massive."

The fact that Sunderland, backed by 31,000 fans, will even set foot on Wembley's hallowed turf this weekend is an achievement in itself after the club was left in disarray when Di Canio's colourful reign was brought to a sudden conclusion.

Replacement Gus Poyet's mission was simply to ensure the club remained in the Premier League, and that outcome is still far from certain.

Nevertheless, the recovery he has inspired has led to an unexpected bonus, and it is one which Johnson and his team-mates are determined to exploit to the full.

The winger said: "That's just how it goes, isn't it, in football? One minute, you are struggling and the next minute, it can all change for you.

"In recent months, we have improved - we have had to improve, otherwise we would have been long gone by now.

"The cups have given us a massive lift as well with the league form. It's a great day out for everyone, everyone is just looking forward to it."

However, Johnson knows better than most the difficulty of the task which lies ahead after spending two-and-a-half years at the Etihad Stadium, the latter part of it having largely fallen out of favour with then manager Roberto Mancini.

A £10million switch to the Stadium of Light in August 2012 gave him a fresh start, and - although he has taken time to settle on Wearside - the Easington-born midfielder has rediscovered his best form in recent months.

Johnson is not so sure he has anything left to prove to anyone at City on Sunday, but that will make little difference to his approach.

He said: "I don't know, it's been a while now since I left. But regardless of who you are playing for, as a player, you would always want to prove something in the final anyway whether you are the best player in the world or someone in his first final.

"You still want to be the best player on the pitch or the best player you can be, and I will be no different whether it's against City or anyone else."

Should Sunderland defy the odds and beat City to lift their first piece of major silverware since their 1973 FA Cup triumph, the knock-on effect could be immeasurable.

Ten years ago, a 16-year-old Johnson was part of Boro's Youth Cup winning squad as the club's senior team lifted the then Carling Cup at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

He said: "I was 15 or 16 and I can remember the atmosphere on the training ground building up to the final. It was a great day out for everyone and all the lads who went down to watch it.

"I remember after the final, it just gave everyone a lift around the whole training ground, not just the first team.

"That ran down into the young lads as well and inspired us to want to be there."

PA

Suggested Topics
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Life and Style
fashionThe supermodel on her career, motherhood and Cara Delevingne
News
i100
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Sport
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
football
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene
tv
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments