Adam aims for fairytale finish
- Wed 12 May 2010, 12:34PM
- Posted by Peter Ferguson
Adam Johnson is chasing a dream finish to his fairytale season after getting the call from England manager Fabio Capello for the provisional 30-man World Cup squad.
The winger's sudden impact after his January arrival pits him against senior team-mate Shaun Wright-Phillips in the battle for a place on England's flanks in South Africa next month.
He said: "Going to a World Cup would be a fantastic end to a brilliant season. I've come a long way - I was still playing in the Championship with Middlesbrough in January."
Adam's full debut in February's 2-0 win over Bolton caused a stir, but he can trace his rise to prominence back to a match in which he admits he probably shouldn't have played.
He defied injury to face City in the FA Cup third round for Boro not long before his move. He said: "You always want to play against the top teams and I knew City had been watching me.
"I had a hamstring tear against Cardiff then came back too quickly. I probably shouldn't really have played in the Cup tie and came off after half an hour."
His England call-up was a matter of some debate until yesterday: "I only found out an hour before the announcement, I got a call from The FA.
"I'm not sure if it was a surprise, to be honest. I thought I was in with a chance - there's been a lot of talk so I was hopeful.
I thought if I kept my head down and played well, maybe it would happen
"My mum and dad and family are all delighted for me, and I've had so many texts from friends. We had a few drinks last night to celebrate, but not too many!
"I'll be in good company when we go off to Austria next week. Apart from Shaunie and Gareth, Joe Hart is a good mate. We got our Under-21 call-up at the same time and roomed together.
"I'm just going to go and enjoy the two weeks and hope I get a few minutes against Mexico or Japan to show the manager what I can do. I'm just happy to be in with a shout.
"I didn't want the season to end, I've been enjoying myself so much. If I do get into the 23 it would be the best moment of my career. And stranger things have happened."