Sunderland vs. Reading  3 - 0

Article

Johnson confident of finding form

10 December 2012 14:18

Sunderland winger Adam Johnson has promised fans that there is more to come from him after a disappointing start to his Black Cats career.

The England international joined Martin O'Neill's side over the summer from Manchester City, but has struggled for form and fitness since his move.

Yet, after scoring in the club's 3-1 defeat to Chelsea at the weekend, the 25-year-old has promised improvement from him and his team-mates.

"I haven't felt a lack of confidence in recent weeks," Johnson said.

"But it hasn't really been happening for me. It's not been happening for the team, either.

"It's hard to get yourself going when the team's not performing. But we've started to play well and you'll start to see the best of me as well.

"It's different from last year because it's a totally different style of play.

"I have to do a lot more, because last season I could stay high up the pitch and didn't have to do much tracking back."

Sunderland face Reading at the Stadium of Light in a Premier League clash on Tuesday and Johnson admits that it is a must-win game against a team also in the relegation zone.

"The Reading game is massive for us. Everyone knows it's our game in hand and it's important," he said.

"If we play like we did on Saturday, we'll do well. We'll do everything we can to win."

Article

Premier League preview: Sunderland v Reading

10 December 2012 12:05

Sunderland and Reading face a critical juncture in their seasons when the relegation rivals play at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday.

With a 3-1 defeat at home to Chelsea on Saturday, the Black Cats joined Reading in the drop zone for the first time during Martin O'Neill's 12-month tenure at Sunderland.

There was an element of poor luck about the 3-1 loss but poor luck tends to follow you around when you're at the wrong end of the table.

Reading meanwhile, were handed another narrow defeat, at Southampton, and can ill-afford another loss to a relegation rival with the side already staring at a six-point gap to safety.

Top scorer Steven Fletcher remains O'Neill's primary concern having missed the Chelsea game with a lingering ankle injury.

The former Wolverhampton front man has scored six goals since his 10-million pound move in the off-season, and tellingly was the only Sunderland player to get on the score sheet in the Premier League until Adam Johnson's strike against Everton on November 11.

A win for Sunderland would potentially lift them out of the mire but that could depend greatly on Fletcher's availability given Sunderland's troublesome lack of goals - 14 in 15 games.

O'Neill may have to do without defender John O'Shea as well after he picked up a calf problem against Chelsea to add to absent captain Lee Cattermole.

The Sunderland boss faced a similar predicament last season but managed to guide Sunderland to safety on the back of an impressive run in February, but the Northern Irishman knows full well his side are right in the thick of a desperate fight.

"It is exactly this now; every game is a fight for us," he said after the Chelsea defeat.

"And when we have a foothold in games, we need to try and make it count. I think that's the major point."

Reading are the only side above QPR, who set a Premier League record of 16 winless games to start the season on Saturday, and may be fighting a losing battle with the depth of talent in Brian McDermott's squad.

Much of last season's Championship-winning squad has been retained and despite some impressive performances, Reading have fallen agonisingly short in matches with worrying regularity.

Jimmy Kebe could be in line for a recall for the Royals following a groin injury ahead of a heavy load of fixtures for both sides.

The original August fixture was rearranged due to a waterlogged pitch and means both sides will be faced with five matches in the next 18 days during the festive period.

Article

Sunderland-Reading postponed due to heavy rain

25 August 2012 15:28

Sunderland's Premier League clash with Reading has been called off due to a waterlogged pitch at the Stadium of Light.

After a morning of torrential rain on Wearside, referee Neil Swarbrick made the decision to postpone the game about 90 minutes before kick-off.

The Black Cats were busy in the transfer window on Friday signing Steven Fletcher and Adam Johnson, with the decision denying the Scottish striker the chance of a debut against the Royals.

A statement on the north-east club's website confirmed that all tickets for the game would be valid for the rearranged fixture.

Reading announced via their Twitter account: "Nobody arguing with the decision, a sensible choice. Such a shame for our supporters - a massive thank you to all who travelled."

Black Cats midfielder Craig Gardner tweeted: "Gutted games off especially our fans and reading travelling 2 game roll on Tuesday now #itchingtoplay"

His team-mate David Meyler added: "Gutted the games off! Now let's get ready for Tuesday. #hawaythelads"

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25