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Johnson ready to turn league inside out

Man of the match Adam Johnson

Man of the match Adam Johnson

Adam Johnson is happy to be Roberto Mancini's "inside out" winger for the Premier League run-in after being expected to learn his trade on the "wrong" flank at Middlesbrough.

Transfer-window recruit Johnson made an eyebrow-raising debut on the right against Bolton despite being a natural left winger and is in the vanguard of a growing trend in England.

Charles N'Zogbia of Wigan, Damien Duff of Fulham and, ironically for Adam, former team-mate Stewart Downing of Aston Villa are among those also benefiting from a switch of flanks.

Johnson said: "It works. I like playing out there on the right, and if you look at the top wingers in the world, I think they can all play on opposite sides.

"I played there at Boro now and again - more so when Stewie (Downing) was there. I learned a lot playing on the right because Stewie would be on the left all the time.

I enjoy it just as much as playing on the left now. You have the option of cutting in and you can maybe go for goal, it mixes your game up a bit more

...Adam Johnson


"Obviously the manager has worked with a lot of top-class players and he's seen what effect it can have. He likes doing it that way and it works in our favour."

Despite his impact since joining City in January, the 22-year-old believes it would be too much to expect to figure in Fabio Capello's deliberations for the summer.

He said: "It was nice to be in the 30-man squad for England. I know I didn't make the cut for Egypt, but just to see my name in the senior call-up was brilliant. The next step is to play.

"I'm closer to that now I'm at City. The World Cup squad would be difficult, but there's a lot of football to be played and there could be injuries along the way.

"It was a bit disappointing not to be involved at Wembley but I've still come a long way in a short space of time. But this World Cup has probably come a bit too soon for me."

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