Simon Mignolet

Mignolet's praise for Johnson

by Ashley Houghton

Keeper highlights winger's impact.

Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was full of praise for team-mate Adam Johnson as the England international turned in a man-of-the-match performance in Monday night’s 1-1 draw with Stoke City.

The Belgian international heaped the plaudits on Johnson as the 26-year-old proved a menace to the Potters’ defence all evening.

And Mignolet told that Johnson’s work ethic was to be admired as the Black Cats battled for a point after being down to ten men for the majority of the game.

“Adam played really well and created a lot of chances,” Mignolet said.

“He worked really hard not only in possession but also when Stoke had the ball and it’s not very easy with ten men.

“He kept running and they deserve a lot of credit for that.

“We know Adam has got that creativity to spark something in the middle of the pitch and if he can get the ball at his feet he can be dangerous, not just from his crossing, but also scoring goals.”

John O’Shea equalised halfway through the second half for Paolo Di Canio’s side after Jonathan Walters had given Stoke an eighth-minute lead.

And Mignolet says a motivational and encouraging half-time team-talk from the Italian head coach spurred the Black Cats on after Craig Gardner had been sent off.

“We didn’t start the game as we wanted to; we conceded an early goal and then afterwards with ten men it was even more difficult,” the Belgian stopper added.

“A couple of the lads’ heads went down at half-time and, as you know, when you’re 1-0 behind with ten men and it’s a home game you want the three points so it was going to be very difficult.

“The gaffer tried to lift our heads and tried to give us more confidence and I think second-half we did our best and worked really hard.

“We stuck at it and tried to do our best; we battled really hard in the second half, together with the crowd - they gave us a lift.

“I think in the end we definitely deserved the point.”