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
news

Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

Sport
Erik Lamela celebrates his goal
football

Argentinian scored 'rabona' wonder goal for Tottenham in Europa League – see it here

News
The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
news
News
peopleFox presenter gives her less than favourable view of women in politics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
News
The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
Property
One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
property
Voices
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift performs at the 2014 iHeart Radio Music Festival
musicReview: 1989's songs attempt to encapsulate dramatic emotional change in a few striking lines
News
Mario Balotelli has been accused of 'threateningly' telling a woman to stop photographing his Ferrari
peoplePolice investigate claim Balotelli acted 'threateningly' towards a woman photographing his Ferrari
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Anderson plays Arthur Shelby in Peaky Blinders series two
tvReview: Arthur Shelby Jr seems to be losing his mind as his younger brother lets him run riot in London
Voices
Don’t try this at home: DIY has now fallen out of favour
voicesNick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of it
Arts and Entertainment
Miranda Hart has called time on her award-winning BBC sitcom, Miranda
tv
Sport
Phil Jones (left) attempts to stop the progress of West Bromwich Albion’s James Morrison on Monday
Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo, writes Paul Scholes
Arts and Entertainment
Saw point: Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in ‘Serena’
filmReview: Serena is a strangely dour and downbeat affair
Life and Style
The Zinger Double Down King, which is a bun-less burger released in Korea
food + drinkKFC unveils breadless meat beast
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

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker