NEWCASTLE (AFP) -Adam Johnson played the decisive role in Sunderland’s 1-0 win at Newcastle United in the Premier League, but only after persuading manager Gus Poyet to let him stay on the pitch.
Poyet was preparing to substitute the winger after he missed an excellent chance in the closing stages, but changed his mind and was rewarded by Johnson’s excellent goal in the 90th minute.
“The manager told me that I would be coming off, but told him I was alright to stay on,” said the match-winner.
Their reward came when Johnson held off a challenge from Moussa Sissoko as a Newcastle attack broke down and found support from Steven Fletcher and Will Buckley as he broke forward 50 yards.
Fletcher kept the move going, then Buckley played a perfect pass inside to Johnson, who rifled his shot past Newcastle’s third-choice goalkeeper Jak Alnwick.
It was a fitting goal to decide a high-octane derby.
“It’s a massive win for us and gives us a great boost, but I think it has been coming for weeks,” added Johnson.
Poyet has come out on top in his last five meetings with Newcastle manager Alan Pardew while in charge at Brighton and Sunderland, but was reluctant to gloat.
“I need to be careful and show respect to everyone at Newcastle,” said the Sunderland boss.
“I hope everyone will understand our feelings. It is great, incredible and something to remember all your life. It is a special moment for the club.
“There is no more confidence than you can get from beating your local rivals at their place, so there are no excuses now for next week.”