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In-Form Cats Winger In World Cup Contention?

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He is an enigmatic so-and-so, but could Adam Johnson be playing his way back into England reckoning?

Clive Rose

Adam Johnson has insisted he is not giving up on his World Cup dreams after firing Sunderland to a breathtaking week.

The former Manchester City man has endured an indifferent spell at his home town club since arriving 18 months ago, often finding himself the target of fan frustration as he struggled to live up to his price-tag and reputation.

However, in the last week alone Johnson has blasted four goals whilst also created three more for team mates, and he told the BBC he is hopeful that if he can maintain his current form then he may have a chance of making the England squad for the summer showpiece in Brazil.

It's always in the back of my mind. I felt the door was closed as each week went on, but hopefully I can keep playing like this.

Hopefully I can force my way back into the squad. I've been working hard and, at the beginning of 2014, I said it was a new year, a new start and time to get back to how I had been playing in the past.

Okay, he bagged three goals this weekend so I am going to let dropping the 'new year, new me' bomb slide this one time, but for me whether or not he has a genuine shot at the England squad at this late stage is almost beside the point.

The fact that he is confident enough to fancy his chances - and relevant enough for someone in the national media to ask him in the first place - is indicative of a pretty healthy situation all round.

Gus Poyet has barely shut up about Johnson all week and has been rewarded with three match-winning performances, so may be he has finally discovered the secret of unlocking the wingers undoubted ability. Fingers very much crossed on that one.

Of course, all this could change next week. Johnson is that kind of player really. But for now, it must be pretty good being Adam Johnson - and bloody good to have him in your side.