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Johnson an outside bet for World Cup, according to Poyet

By Football News

Gus Poyet has tipped Sunderland's Adam Johnson to earn a place in England's World Cup squad following his hat-trick at Fulham.

Sunderland climbed off the foot of the Premier League and took a significant step towards safety with a 4-1 win at Craven Cottage.

Johnson opened the scoring with an expertly-taken free-kick, before setting up Ki Sung-Yueng for a second goal and rounding off an excellent counter-attack to claim Sunderland's third.

The former Manchester City winger completed his hat-trick late on from the penalty spot, and Poyet believes Johnson is an outside bet for a place in England's World Cup squad after Theo Walcott was ruled out of the tournament with a cruciate knee ligament injury.

Head coach Poyet said: "I will help him. I will help him to get there (Brazil for the World Cup). I tell you what - if Jonno makes the World Cup then we will still be in the Premier League for sure.

"I hope he can play (in the World Cup). He is a terrific lad.

"When you come from a big team and you want to be the difference and for one reason or another it doesn’t work, it's easy and natural to criticise, but for the player and family it is sad. He was desperate to do something special today."

Poyet is now hoping Johnson can maintain his recent form and help Sunderland avoid relegation.

He added: "If we play like that, I have no doubts. When you play well and get results - I think we are one loss in 10 (actually nine) now - that shows we are a little better.

"When somebody steps up and plays like Jonno, you have a great chance.

"He has been like that for the last three weeks to be honest. I always believe there is a responsibility on the player.

"He needs to take responsibility whether he plays well or poorly, but there are certain players you need to perform when playing a certain way.

"We were looking to get that style of play for him to take advantage and we have not quite been getting it. But today it clicked. He has the quality to make the difference."