Football - Johnson: Di Canio can make impact

Sunderland winger Adam Johnson has backed new boss Paolo Di Canio to unlock a fresh belief in the relegation-threatened club ahead of his first Barclays Premier League game in charge against Chelsea on Sunday.

PA Sport

Di Canio, who has proved to be a controversial appointment on Wearside following the sacking of Martin O'Neill in the wake of last weekend's 1-0 defeat by Manchester United, has only had a week to prepare the Black Cats for his first match at the helm.

Sunderland are currently only one point clear of the relegation zone with seven games remaining, including tough fixtures against rivals Newcastle at St James' Park, Everton at the Stadium of Light and a difficult encounter against Tottenham on the last day of the season.

However, Johnson, who has struggled to recapture his best form this season, believes the former Swindon manager could be the perfect tonic to Sunderland's on-field problems after their continued poor form has seen them winless in their last eight games.

"He's a confident manager and wants to make his players feel like they're the best players in the world," Johnson told safc.com.

"I think he's going to get the best out of the lads. He demands your best and we will have to work hard.

"When players are full of confidence they're going to play well, so hopefully we can take that into Sunday because it's a tough game and a big game."

View comments (-4)
Write for Yahoo Sport