SAFC v Stoke

Hard work rewarded - Johnson

by Stuart Vose

Winger reflects on Stoke point.

Adam Johnson was pleased with his performance against Stoke but was more impressed with his side's battling qualities.

Sunderland went in at half time down to 10 men and a goal behind, but lit up the Stadium of Light with a committed second-half performance to claim a point thanks to a goal from John O'Shea.

Johnson was a thorn in City's side all evening and was given a standing ovation when substituted late on.

“It's always nice to get a standing ovation because when you’ve played well it makes you feel good, and I’m just delighted that we’ve come back and got a point under difficult circumstances,” the winger said.

“It was difficult going down to ten men but everyone worked so hard and it paid off in the end; we got our rewards for all our hard work.”

O'Shea notched his vital goal just after the hour when he hooked home Seb Larsson's corner from close range, squeezing the ball through the legs of Asmir Begovic.

And Johnson says the equaliser sets up a big game against Southampton on Sunday in the Black Cats' final home fixture of the 2012-13 season.

“I Can’t really remember what happened [for the goal]; it happened quickly but it was the instinctive finish of a striker – it was a massive goal for us,” Johnson said.

“It’s a big game on Sunday; obviously if we can play like that with ten men, we’ve got an extra man for the game on Sunday so we will go into that full of confidence.”