Sunderland captain Lee Cattermole backs Adam Johnson for 2014 World Cup
Sunderland skipper Lee Cattermole is backing old friend Adam Johnson to make it to the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.
The 25-year-old winger was this week forced to withdraw from Roy Hodgson's squad for the opening qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine due to a thigh injury.
However, Cattermole, who came through the Middlesbrough Academy with Johnson, is convinced that if England make it to Brazil, Johnson will be there with them after moving from Manchester City to Sunderland partly to keep his international career alive.
He told the Sunderland Echo: "To come back to the north-east, he will get a lot of attention around here. Sometimes that's hard to handle.
"But Johnno's a great lad and he's shown the desire to come because he wants to play.
"He's going to further his career, kick on and be a full England international all the time. I'm sure when the next World Cup comes along, he's going to be in it."
Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill invested heavily to bring Johnson to Wearside in a bid to add an attacking threat to his team, and his arrival has sparked genuine excitement.
Cattermole, 24, knows exactly what he will bring to the club from the years the pair spent together at Boro, and is confident he will be a big hit.
He said: "Once the club got permission to speak, I gave him a ring and said, 'You will absolutely love it'.
"It's a big thing for him. He played in the team that won the Premier League last year. It was a big ask for him to come away from there.
"Johnno is a phenomenal player and to have him here at the age he's at is brilliant for the club. He's in the prime of his career and he's only going to get better."
Latest in Sport
The Prince of Wales Stakes today is regarded by many as the No1 race of the Royal Ascot meeting and ...
by Gareth Purnell
19 June 2013 02:01 AM
Today’s St James Palace looks a cracker and there has been sustained money for Dawn Approach since t...
by Gareth Purnell
18 June 2013 02:01 AM
Newcastle don’t need a football director – they need a new medical team after finishing bottom of the injury league
Newcastle United have shocked their fans by appointing Joe Kinnear as director of football but new f...
by Alex Miller
17 June 2013 04:39 PM
ACT Brumbies v British and Irish Lions - player ratings
Liverpool close in on £6m Spanish winger Luis Alberto
In pictures: Royal Ascot 2013 - Opening day
Exclusive: Cristiano Ronaldo advised to stay at Real Madrid for further 18 months before making possible switch to Manchester United
Italy Under-21s 2 Spain Under-21s 4 match report: Thiago Alcantara's hat-trick seals European Championship for Spanish youngsters
- 1 Diary of Second World War German teenager reveals young lives untroubled by Nazi Holocaust in wartime Berlin
- 2 'Jail reckless bankers': Report urges the Government to introduce new criminal offence for reckless management
- 3 Breaking the Silence: In the reality of occupation, there are no Palestinian civilians – only potential terrorists
- 4 Uri Geller psychic spy? The spoon-bender's secret life as a Mossad and CIA agent revealed
- 5 Vice pulls 'breathtakingly tasteless' fashion shoot glorifying the suicides of famous female authors from Sylvia Plath to Virginia Woolf