Adam Johnson

Debutants delight O'Neill

by Stuart Vose

Boss pleased with new boys' early form.

Sunderland chief Martin O’Neill couldn’t hide his delight after seeing his two latest signings impress on their debuts.

Adam Johnson and Steven Fletcher both started against Morecambe on Tuesday evening and led from the front in a 2-0 win.

Fletcher showed some neat touches in a valuable fitness building run-out, while Johnson – cheered by the home crowd with every touch – was arguably his side’s leading light.

The England international laid on both of James McClean’s goals and tortured the visitors down the flanks to give his manager a taste of the damage he’s capable of doing.

“Adam is an exceptional talent, there’s absolutely no question about that,” O’Neill enthused.

“He excites the crowd and is a really terrific footballer with great ability. He will be a big asset for us.

“Adam is capable of doing anything and he goes past players like they don’t exist. I was delighted with his performance.”

On Fletcher, O’Neill added: “Steven hasn’t played very much so he was a little tired, but I think he wanted to stay on.

“I was very pleased with him too. He’s getting used to the environment.

“Steven showed some lovely touches and has great control. He’ll be great for us.”