Sunderland winger Johnson: Critics right to say I'd lost my hunger
Johnson is now at his best, but concedes he was struggling when first moving from Manchester City.
"I think people were right to question my hunger last year," admitted a player nurtured by Middlesbrough's excellent academy staff. "I think that's fair. I was desperate to prove myself here, but when it didn't work out, I lost it," he told the Telegraph.
"It was the first time I'd gone through a spell like it. I was at a club that won all the time and I got stuck in a rut in a team that was struggling a bit.
"I didn't realise it had happened, but looking back it did. There were days when I just wasn't motivated. I wasn't myself. I was extremely frustrated. I couldn't get my head around it, but it has definitely made me a better player. I've learnt new things from difficult experiences. I'm out the other side.
"I don't know why I lost form, I still can't put my finger on it. I can't really put my finger on why it has come back. Things didn't come off, I kept trying to do the things I'd always done, but you lose the ball a couple of times and your confidence goes. I spent a few months doubting my decision to come here.
"I was in a dressing room that was hurting after defeats, not one that won 99 per cent of the time. It was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.
"But I wanted to come here and play every week and have that pressure of expectation. I didn't want to be a good player in a world-class team, I wanted to be a good player in a good team who was expected to win games for the team.
"I left City for the sake of my career. I'd won the FA Cup and the Premier League, I wanted to do something else. It's taken me some time for me to get into a place where I'm able to play like I wanted, but I feel I'm there now."
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