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Italian philosophy inspires Johnson
Published : 06 Sep 2010 06:44:00
Adam Johnson believes the approaches of Fabio Capello and Roberto Mancini give him extra licence to thrill for England and Manchester City. The winger celebrated his competitive debut for England by scoring his first goal for his country in Friday's 4-0 win over Bulgaria in a Euro 2012 qualifier at Wembley. It was a big boost for the former Middlesbrough player after he failed to make the final 23 for the World Cup. But Johnson can see similarities between the approach of fellow Italians Capello and Mancini in providing a solid defensive basis which gives attacking plyers like himself more freedom. Johnson said: "Capello and Mancini are pretty similar in their approach. I think in some ways the Italian mentality is different to the English attitude when it comes to management. "There is an emphasis on the tactical side and the shape of the team. "Obviously, every manager has things to do differently, but overall I think Mancini and Capello are pretty similar. "I think if you can get a team to defend the right way, then there is more freedom for the forwards to attack. "Obviously I like to do that and, when the defence is right, then it gives you a solid base to go forward - and both managers I play for like to do that. "It gives me freedom in the final third to try things, to score goals and try to play attractive football. The defence gives you the confidence to do those things." Johnson took consolation from missing out on the World Cup in Capello naming him as one of the bright hopes for England's future as he looks to rebuild. He said: "I watched all the games at the World Cup. I am an England fan and, obviously got a lot of mates who were out there playing, so I was supporting them as well. "It was difficult to watch in a way, knowing I was so close, but I wanted England to go all the way and I was as disappointed as anyone to see how it went. "But it was fantastic hearing good things about me from the England manager (about the future). "It's exciting for me when someone like him is saying good things about me. "My aim is to get a few more caps and play as many games for England as I can. "I'm sure it's the same for the other young lads but playing for my country is all I've ever wanted to do. It's exciting." Johnson has also settled in with England with the help of his City team-mates who have also been involved. He says it definitely helps with people Gareth Barry, Joe Hart and James Milner being in squad. "When you come away with England, to have so many team-mates there is a big help." Johnson is as excited as anyone about what the future may hold for City but he is refusing to get carried away. He said: "They are exciting times at City. Yes, absolutely. But I think we've just got to take each game as it comes. "A lot of people are saying we are going to do this and that but we are focused on ourselves. "We've started reasonably well and we've just got to carry that on, keep winning and see where it takes us. "Like I said, these are exciting times but we are not getting too carried away with ourselves."