Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has laid down a challenge to Adam Johnson to not just repeat his sparkling performance in Wednesday’s League Cup win over Wolves but to improve on it if he wants to stay on the team.
The England international scored once and set up a goal for Samir Nasri with a magnificent pass as a second-string yet unfeasibly strong City line-up continued their free-scoring start to the season with a 5-2 demolition of Wolves at Molineux.
However Mancini – who only last week hauled off Johnson during the first half of the club’s Champions League match with Villarreal – is determined not to let success go to the 24-year-old’s head.
“Sometimes he (Johnson) thinks: ‘Okay in this game I scored one goal, I did an assist, that is enough,'” said Mancini.
“I think Adam, because he is young can improve a lot. He needs to think in a different way.
“He needs to think: ‘I scored one goal, I did one assist, I should continue because I want to score another goal and another assist, and run back to defend.’
“He can do this if he wants. My opinion is this, he has everything to become one of the top wingers.
“Adam is young, he is in his third season in the Premier League. I am disappointed when he doesn’t put everything on the pitch.”
To emphasise his point, Mancini said Johnson was partially responsible for Wolves’ second goal in Wednesday’s rout.
“He played well, but for the second goal Wolves scored (by Jamie O’Hara), he never followed his opponent,” he said.
“Adam is the only one winger we have in the team. He cannot play every three days, it is impossible, but if he wants to improve, he can have a lot of chances to play.”