ADAM Johnson has backed out-of-sorts James McClean to rediscover last season’s excellent form.
Neither Sunderland winger has set the world alight this season, but the Irishman’s performances levels will be a far more pressing concern as he is playing at the moment without a shred of confidence.
Johnson, who has struggled with fitness since his £10million move in August, believes the former Derry City man will get back to where he was and that this loss of form is something all creative players have to go through.
He said: “I remember when I was just coming through – as a wingers you do get games when you get frustrated and can become isolated from the game stuck out wide.
“That can be very frustrating and I can see a bit of that with James, but I think he’s strong enough and maybe he needs a bit of encouragement. It happens sometimes, though.
“As wingers you can be seen to be not in the thick of the action as much because you are out wide, but he has the quality to create goals.
“Sometimes you’ve got to think of other ways to hurt teams. In your second season people pay more attention to you and you can have two men on you at the same time and that’s why teams have been hard to
score against, because a lot of teams have had two against me and James. I think it’s something he will learn to deal with. He’s been terrific and we’re only eight games into the season.
He’s been working on his game and it’s just something you have to do.
“It’s something I still do now and it is difficult when you have two or three men around you every time you get the ball. I think he’s finding that this season, but I’m sure he’ll work hard and it’ll all come through for him.”
Sunderland picked up yet another draw at Stoke on Saturday, which makes six from eight Premier League games so far.