No bigger game for Johnson
Sunday, 28 June, 2009
England winger Adam is looking ahead to Germany after the semi-final win
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Adam Johnson says that the penalty practice paid off as he struck one of England’s five successful penalties to book a place in the European Championship Final.
With the scores against Sweden level at 3-3, and extra-time running down, the Middlesbrough winger was introduced to offer England a fresh pair of legs, but also a solid penalty taker with the shootout looming.
Now he’s focused on Germany in the Final as England travel down to Malmo for the climax of a two-year campaign and admits that this will be his biggest game.
“I think some of the lads had tired legs and I was obviously one of the penalty takers,” said Johnson. “Coming on with ten minutes to go knowing you’re going to have to take a penalty is sometimes nerve-wracking, but I was glad to get on and play my part and I was glad that I scored my penalty.”
“I got a few touches when I got on which made it a bit easier, I got a sweat up and into the pace of the game, I wasn’t just cold going into take a penalty.”
“On the night, the way it panned out in the end, shouldn’t have really gone that far. These games, there’s a lot of pressure riding on them, the manager showed faith in me to let me take a penalty, we’ve been practising them for two years and I had confidence in myself to tuck it away.”
Johnson added: “We got through and our focus is now obviously on the Final. Everyone’s looking forward to it and hopefully we can go and win the tournament.
“I can’t think of any games bigger than this to be honest. This is a one off, a big final in a major tournament. England haven’t been in a final for a lot of years, so I think there’ll be a lot of people watch and fans back home cheering us on. That will give us an extra incentive.”
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