World Cup rejection spurred me on says Adam Johnson

Last updated : 02 June 2011 By Daily Mail

Johnson was part of Capello's provisional squad of 30 for the finals in South Africa but failed to make the final 23. The winger has responded by helping City qualify for the Champions League and win the FA Cup this season and impressed when on international duty.

Now he is looking to help England overcome Switzerland at Wembley on Saturday and take a major step towards qualifying for the Euro 2012 finals next summer.

England expects: Adam Johnson was a surprise omission from Fabio Capello's World Cup squad

Johnson said: 'I was really disappointed last summer to miss out on the World Cup finals. I was pleased to get in the 30 but really disappointed not to go to South Africa.

'I thought I was in good form after moving from Middlesbrough four months earlier.

'Maybe in hindsight, it was a blessing in disguise for me, a bit too soon after coming out of the Championship. But it has certainly helped me drive myself on even more. It made me think "I'm going to come back and try even harder", that sort of thing.

'That's why I got my head down. I've got to make up for a bit of lost time. I've got to wait another three years for a World Cup now but we want to get to the European Championships.'

Prove a point: Johnson wants to show Capello he was wrong to leave him out

Johnson admits having the importance of the defensive side of his game impressed upon him has been a crucial factor.

He said: 'I've scored a few goals this season and important ones. I've been trying to create goals. But improving the defensive side of things has helped me play more games.

Pure delight: The winger has made great strides since moving to City in January 2010

'People know that I'm going to work hard to get back and track the full-backs and things. If that's what I've got to do to stay in the team, I'm prepared to do that.'

Johnson is excited about the prospect of Champions League football and is hopeful City can make a big impression after pipping Arsenal for the final automatic spot.

He said: 'It's been a great season for the club and me personally. The chance of Champions League football next season, and to lift the FA Cup at Wembley, was a dream come true for me.

'The Champions League is the best club competition in the world and hopefully we can go quite a long way.

'We've finished third in the Premier League and missed out on the qualifying stages which is brilliant for us and we go into the season knowing we are already in the group stages.

'Hopefully we can qualify from that group and goodness knows where we can go from there. The confidence has been there all season with City. We've played some good football.'

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Source: Daily Mail

Source: Daily Mail