Adam Johnson: We’ll have to live with Paolo Di Canio’s style at Sunderland

Accepting criticism is all in the game, Sunderland winger tells team-mates

Adam Johnson has told his Sunderland team-mates that they must be strong enough to accept the direct criticism of manager Paolo Di Canio.

The England winger has benefited from the appointment of the Italian last season, but the confrontational style of Di Canio has drawn some criticism. There has been a suggestion that the Italian’s outspoken approach might undermine a squad of players still to win a Premier League game this season and Johnson warned: “You just have to accept he is the manager and get on with it. It depends on which type of player you are, I suppose, and how you take it.

“It could kill players’ confidence but with other players it could inspire them. It is all about how you take it, really. You might not even listen to it. You have to just get on with it and go with the manager’s ways.

“We have seen a few games where it has really worked. In others it hasn’t, so he has to just stick with it. We need to do the best we can and start to pick up some points – and deal with criticism.

“My biggest critic is myself. By my age you don’t need your dad to tell you  – and if you do, I think you’re struggling, to be fair. You just know when you’ve done well.

“There are always times when a manager is not happy – throughout your career, whoever you are with. It’s definitely harder when you’re a young lad coming through. They are obviously easy targets. That’s how you learn.

“Some of my younger days at Boro, it happened. You learn the hard way as a young lad. You probably get more criticism because they want you to learn. That will always stand you in better stead for the future.

“You know when you’ve not done well, but getting told is still getting told. From quite a young age I always knew how I’d played. I was always disappointed with myself if I’d not done well. You learn to deal with it when you get older and forget about it quicker, focus on the next game.

“You are disappointed when you’re back home after a poor game. Some nights you tend to go over the game again and again in your head.  I’ve learned it’s about the next game now. The sooner you forget the last game the better. You can’t really dwell on the past.”

Today Sunderland face an Arsenal side that will include Mesut Ozil, making his Premier League debut. Johnson played against the German in the European Under-21 Championships final in 2009, which England  lost 4-0.

“I just remember the Germans being a good team, they very well organised,” he said. “They were all good players, not just Ozil. All of them were very strong. There was not one particular star, but he has gone on to do  great things.

“I’m really quite surprised he decided to leave Real Madrid; he still had a lot to offer there.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
footballA colourful discussion on tactics, the merits of the English footballer and rebuilding Manchester United
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Travel
The shipping news: a typical Snoozebox construction
travelSpending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
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

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz