Winger looking forward to Barclays Asia Trophy.
Black Cats winger Adam Johnson says excitement is building amongst the Sunderland squad ahead of this month’s Barclays Asia Trophy.
Johnson and the rest of Paolo Di Canio’s side will head to the Far East towards the end of the month and the former Manchester City man says the players are already talking about the trip.
“It’s always good getting to travel the world and seeing different places,” he told www.premierleague.com.
“When you look back on your career and you say, ‘Yeah, I went there,’ it’s always nice to experience that.
“I’ve been fortunate to travel all over and this is one place I’ve never been. I get to say, ‘I’ve been to Hong Kong.’
“We were talking about it the other day actually, the lads are really looking forward to going and experiencing it.”
Johnson, who made 39 appearances last season, was quick to add that the hard work starts now for Di Canio’s side with just over six weeks to go until the start of the Barclays Premier League campaign.
And Johnson says this pre-season could be his toughest yet under the Italian head coach.
“It’s good for us to play in the heat for our fitness before the season starts and it’s competitive as well; that’s what you need in pre-season, so all aspects of it are really important,” Johnson added.
“Going out there and playing against top teams as well can only do us good ahead of the start of the season.
“It’s going to be interesting,” he continued. “Pre-season is going to be probably quite tough and a lot different to what we’ve been used to.
“Again it’s all new sorts of things for us to look forward to and I know we’re going to come back really fit for the start of the season.”
Despite the tough work Johnson expects under the new head coach, he says the enjoyment of travelling to Asia is a rewarding factor as a top-flight star.
“The way the fans get on with you, they treat you as if you’re a king – I mean it’s a great feeling,” Johnson explained.
“A few of the lads’ first time there they couldn’t believe the welcome they were getting into hotels and things, so I’m really looking forward to it; it’s always good to go out to different places and see different things and I enjoy them.
“The fans out there don’t get to see us that often in person so when they do it’s nice for them and in my experience of tournaments the fans don’t keep quiet the whole game.
“They’re just so excited to see us and be at one of the games so it’s obviously good to put on a good show for them.
“It’s all a bit of fun after the end of the game and we get to go around and thank the fans and things like that. It’s just a nice sort of break from the seriousness of the Barclays Premier League.”