Johnson: Our time has come
In-form Adam Johnson believes Sunderland's 'time has come' after the Black Cats secured back-to-back victories with an emphatic derby win at Newcastle.
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The England winger scored his seventh goal in as many games as Sunderland maintained the two-point gap between themselves and the relegation zone with a 3-0 victory at St James' Park.
Just four points now separate 19th-placed Cardiff City and Stoke City in 11th in what is shaping up to be a very tight battle against Premier League relegation.
But Johnson feels Sunderland are now in the kind of form that will soon make such concerns a thing of the past.
"Even a couple of months ago, we were written off," said the 26-year-old. "We were seven points adrift and I was saying to everyone, if you saw the fixtures we had at home, we had played all the top teams.
"I said our time would come, and it has. We have played the teams around us at home, the Stokes and we have got Hull on Saturday.
"Coming here, it's a derby and anything goes. It just proves there is still a lot of football to be played."
The win at Newcastle maintains manager Gus Poyet's 100 per cent record against the Magpies, which stretches back to his time as Brighton boss.
Although it has been noted that his Sunderland predecessor Paolo di Canio recorded a 3-0 win at St James' Park during his reign, there was little of the hyperbole that surrounded that result this time around and instead Poyet was remaining level-headed.
"It's my way, it's the way we believe football should be played, it's the way we believe we should treat players, it's the way we believe a club should work," he said.
"We are convinced and we know it works. Of course, sometimes you need time. Sometimes you get the time depending on results, and that's up to the players, so we are delighted that the players have been doing it on the pitch. They have given us the time to show that.
"The team is so much better and that's why we are in the position we are in, and it would be a shame now to fail.
"The idea is to maintain the calm, to keep getting better, to use the players the best we can and to make sure we don't think about the cup final whatsoever and we go on and win the next game."