Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cats First, Country Later for Johnson; Johnson Is Keen to See Video Replays

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cats First, Country Later for Johnson; Johnson Is Keen to See Video Replays

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Brown steve.sports-brown@ncjmedia.co.uk

ADAM Johnson insists that while Roy Hodgson's presence at the Stadium of Light on Saturday was "encouraging", the Sunderland and England star remains solely focused on helping his club improve their position in the Premier League.

Achieving that objective suffered a blow yesterday, when Gus Poyet con-firmed that Emanuele Giaccherini is likely to miss the rest of the season with a persistent ankle injury.

But, Johnson added, the Black Cats' recent fortunes - and, indeed, all involved in football - could have benefited from match officials more frequently and publicly explaining their decisions and, more realistically, referring contentious adjudications to instant video replays.

The 27-year-old was denied a 45thminute 'goal' during the weekend's goalless draw against West Bromwich Albion.

Yet even now it remains unclear whether referee Mike Jones' assistant had deemed Johnson, who was onside at the moment of Ricardo Alvarez's pass, or Jermain Defoe, who initially was not, to be offside. That simply added to the frustrations Turn to Page 45 FROM BACK PAGE of a day when Hodgson made a rare visit to Wearside.

Johnson accepted Baggies striker Saido Berahino was most probably the main subject of the England coach's attentions. Yet whilst cheered by the opportunity to "put things in (Hodgson's) head", Johnson said his main priority at present is Sunderland.

"Yeah it's encouraging, obviously, if he's coming to watch us," he said.

"I don't know who he was here to watch, in particular. Probably (Saido) Berahino, I presume. But it's nice to try and do well when he's there, to try and put things in his head.

"I try to do the best I can. But I'm just concentrating on Sunderland, to be honest.

"Having a goal (disallowed) anywhere, in front of anyone, is obviously disappointing, not having it. …

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