Sunderland travel to the Pirelli Stadium on Tuesday evening, in an early top of the table clash to face off with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s Burton Albion.
Fourth host third in League One on Tuesday evening and the travelling Black Cats manager is very wary of the threat the Brewers pose.
Hasselbaink oversaw an incredible resurrection from third tier relegation dead certs to relative mid table finishers and the team have carried on that momentum with two wins from two to kick-off the campaign.
Johnson will pick a side he feels is capable of dealing with Burton’s style of play.
The Black Cats boss said to the Sunderland Echo: “It’s going to be compact, it’s going to be direct, we’re going to have to win a lot of first headers and second balls. We have to select the right team to be able to do that.
“You’ve got to deal with different styles, and you’ve got to have a squad adaptable to that while at the same time, play your own game and do it extremely well.”
The quick turn around from the weekend may be too much too soon for some members of the Black Cats’ squad.
The manager had this to say on key man Aiden McGeady: “I still think McGeady, for example, has a bit to do in terms of the catch up he’s been playing. We’ll find the balance.”
Both sides will be hoping to make it three in a row on Tuesday evening, but with it still early days and each manager happy to begin the season unbeaten, a draw would probably be seen as a good outcome.
It will be interesting to see how Sunderland get on in their Burton examination following their narrow victories over Wigan Athletic and Milton Keynes Dons, two sides that are expected to finish above the Brewers but Hasselbaink has hit the ground running once again at the Pirelli.
A victory here would send out a message to the rest of the promotion aiming teams, that Sunderland mean business this year and often referred to as ‘streaky’ Lee Johnson has found their winning formula.
Always an awkward opponent are the hardworking Brewers but the Black Cats will fancy their chances if they can weather the storm and go into the match as favourites.