Sunderland must cut out silly mistakes to avoid relegation, says Adam Johnson

Winger admits home game against fellow strugglers Reading tomorrow will be vital

Adam Johnson has stressed the importance of Sunderland's home game with Reading tomorrow after they fell into the bottom three, calling for his team to cut out the silly mistakes.

Sunderland conceded goals either side of half-time in a 3-1 defeat at home to Chelsea on Saturday, firstly through a needless penalty conceded by Sebastian Larsson and then at the start of the second half when Phil Bardsley failed to control a cross.

Those errors were in direct contrast to a battling display from Martin O'Neill's side, who were clapped from the field of play, despite the defeat and falling into the relegation zone.

"I don't care who you are, it's impossible to win games single-handedly, but as a team today there were lots of positives apart from the silly goals we conceded," said Johnson.

"We were good and bad in equal measure. The Reading game is massive for us and it was always going to be even before this match. Everyone knows it's our game in hand, and it's important. If we play like we did today, we'll do well.

"It's up to us to try to do everything we can to win. It's different from last year because it's a totally different style of play. I have to do a lot more, because last season I could stay high up the pitch and didn't have to do much tracking back. It's totally different here.

"I felt at times we were very good. We keep conceding silly goals and that's costing us. With a bit of luck though we could have got something out of that game.

"I haven't felt a lack of confidence in recent weeks, but it hasn't really been happening for me. It's not really been happening for the team, either. It's hard to get yourself going when the team's not performing.

"I think we've started to play well as a team and you'll start to see the best of me as well. The confidence in the dressing room is fine but everyone is just eager to win.

"Everyone's so frustrated because we know we've got the ability to win games. There are loads of games to play. If we win a couple of games we're out of the drop zone. Then everyone will be saying we're looking well. There's not a lot of points between eight or nine teams and it's too early to say we're in a relegation battle."

Danny Rose, the on loan Tottenham full-back was once more outstanding for Sunderland and O'Neill admitted: "He wants to remain at the football club and that is encouraging and if he went back to Tottenham, particularly with [Benoît Assou-]Ekotto getting fit again, the chances are he wouldn't play that often, so it's certainly worth a look at anyway.

"He would love to stay here. He's got on terrifically well with everyone. The players have taken to him, everybody has taken to him. Most importantly, the crowd have taken to him and rightly so because he has been absolutely outstanding. I always felt he had that potential, but he's playing remarkably well.

"It's important that everyone sticks together, it's exactly that. The crowd here have seen difficult days before, but have battled through them. They will naturally be anxious and a bit frustrated, but in the not too distant future it will be naturally important that they stick with us. I've never been one to ask the crowd to do something that is absolutely and utterly against their will. I felt they were genuinely behind the team and that's gong to be very very important on Tuesday night.

"We were in the bottom three this time last year, just before we played Blackburn and to win the game gives you a psychological boost," O'Neill added. "

For us on Tuesday night, winning the game, regardless of how we do it – it would be great to play football like we did in parts today – is the most important thing."

News
people

Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
News
peopleLynda Bellingham's tragic final Loose Women appearance moves audience to tears
Arts and Entertainment
'Right Here' singer Jess Glynne is nominated for Best Newcomer at the MOBO Awards 2014
musicExclusive: Jess Glynne hits out at 'ridiculous' criticism of white artists nominated for Mobo Awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Separated at birth? Frank Sivero (left) claims The Simpsons based Mafia character Louie on his Goodfellas character
arts + entsFrank Sivero sues Simpsons studio over allegedly basing mobster character on Frank Carbone
News
Carl Bernstein (left) and Bob Woodward (right) with former 'Washington Post' executive editor Ben Bradlee
people

The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon

News
news

Voices
Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014
voices

Arts and Entertainment
Laura Wood, winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing
books

Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search

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

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London