Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Right Hand Man

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Right Hand Man

Article excerpt

Byline: Anthony Vickers

Teenage wing wizard Adam Johnson hopes he has given the boss a selection headache with his wonder show against Watford.

The left-footed flanker switched to an unaccustomed role on the right and put in a man of the match performance with two assists and a hand in a third goal in Boro's nerve-settling 4-1 win.

Johnson as pressed into service in the absence of suspended duo James Morrison and Lee Cattermole who have alternated in that problem berth all season but hopes his eye-opening display was enough to keep his place when they return.

He said: "I think I have shown the boss I can be another option on the right.

"I know the gaffer has tried quite a few on the right out there but hopefully I can make it my position and carry on playing.

"I haven't played as much as I'd like this season so it was great just to start but if I can play a few more, keep my performances up and get a few more assists you never know."

Johnson impressed from the off as he ran at Watford men, cut inside and showed some net tricks and turns of pace and despite being on his 'wrong' foot played some killer balls to the front two. But, as he explained, he feels comfortable on either flank.

"A winger is a winger," he said. "The job is the same on either side. I know I'm left footed and I tend to come inside a lot but I can go down the outside too, it's not a problem.

"In fact sometimes it helps because when you cut inside and go towards goal you are moving the ball on to your stronger foot.

"It can be a bit strange but I work very hard on improving my right foot in training so I am comfortable with it.

"And with Stewart Downing being so good on his right we were swapping over quite a bit during the game anyway. It doesn't bother us but it can cause real problems for defenders."

Gareth Southgate revealed the switching was part of his double Dutch design to beat Watford.

He said: "Lots of top players on the Continent play on their opposite side and the Dutch for instance always play a right footer on the left and vice versa.

"The pair are both strong on either foot so it works for us. …

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