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Johnson: A good work-out

by Kate Smith

Winger pleased with time in Hong Kong.

Adam Johnson has described Sunderland’s pre-season as one of the toughest he has ever experienced but believes there will be rewards to reap as the forthcoming campaign progresses.

This is Johnson’s first pre-season with the Black Cats, after the 26 year-old made the move to the Stadium of Light just before the transfer window closed last summer.

“It’s been a very difficult pre-season,” Johnson told “Probably one of the hardest I’ve ever had – hopefully we’ll feel the benefits of all the hard work when the season starts.”

Sunderland’s pre-season programme has consisted of a training camp in Italy where the team played two warm-up games before heading to Hong Kong for the Barclays Asia Trophy, where they faced Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City.

“The two games in Italy were mainly about fitness,” the winger continued.

“It was good to get to face Spurs and City as it they were good tests for the team and it gave the new lads the chance to face Barclays Premier League opposition.

“Playing in those conditions we showed how fit we were and how good we were as a team.

“That’s just the start, though; it needs to continue now into the new season."