Roberto Mancini's Manchester mantra has made me a better player, insists City's Adam Johnson

03 December 2010 04:25
Adam Johnson says he is beginning to feel the benefits after adopting the Mancini mantra at Manchester City.

The former Middlesbrough winger scored a superb individual goal in the victory against Salzburg which helped secure the club's passage into the knockout stages of the Europa League.

Johnson, 23, is now hoping to retain his place in the side to face Bolton tomorrow and make only his sixth start in the league this season.

Reaping the rewards: Adam Johnson (right) has found a new focus

City boss Roberto Mancini has been critical of the player's attitude in the past, especially after he broke into the England team.

Johnson, however, has nothing but praise for the way his boss has brought him on in the 10 months since he left the Riverside Stadium.

He said: 'From the moment he came in the manager he has helped me a lot. He has told me all sorts of different things.

'He has seen a lot in his career and all his advice is starting to show a little bit in my game. It is about running off the ball, my movement and stuff like that and when to get a shot in.

'It is also about not wanting the ball at my feet all the time, and maybe trying to get in the box and on the end of a few more crosses.

'I was happy with my performance against Salzburg and really pleased with my goal. Hopefully a bit more of that will come in the next few weeks.

'I played a bit more on the left, but I am comfortable on either side and it was a slow tempo which gives you space and time to enjoy it.'

Johnson's goal came after a brace from summer signing Mario Balotelli, which took the 20-year-old's tally to five goals in just four starts.

Super strike: Johnson (centre) scored a fine individual goal against Salzburg

Balotelli is expected to link up with Carlos Tevez tomorrow after the club captain was rested in midweek.

Johnson is impressed with the young Italian striker and said: 'Everyone knows Mario's qualities. He is a goalscorer. Sometimes you won't see him for five minutes, but then he will get on the end of a cross or get a shot in and it will find the net.

'That is something it's good to have in the team, someone who can create something out of nothing. He is a bit of a funny character but the lads think he's great around the dressing room - and he has some good banter.

'He does not celebrate his goals, but that's how he is, he just does not show too much emotion.'

Bolton are winning friends under manager Owen Coyle with their easy-on-the-eye style of play that has seen the team shoot up the table.

Johnson added: 'A lot of sides come to our ground and sit back but I don't know if Bolton will. They might give us a game which will suit us even more.

'Most teams, with the quality we have and the reputation we are building, will just defend here, but we are going to have to get used to that.

'The way we are playing is starting to click all round. We work a lot on the shape, attacking play and movement off the ball.'

 Manchester City and Chelsea target Luiz hints at leaving Benfica in JanuaryAll the latest Premier League team news ahead of the weekendThe Manchester City academy - inside the Blues' £10m talent factoryMANCHESTER CITY FC

Source: Daily_Mail