Johnson praised the way the new boss has given everyone new confidence.
He said: â€śHe speaks to individuals and has spoken to me about keeping the teamâ€™s shape.
â€śHe wants it to be perfect because he believes if the team has good shape then weâ€™ll score.
â€śOur shape on Sunday was excellent. They couldnâ€™t live with us when we attacked.â€ť
Johnson got a hug of approval from Di Canio at the final whistle after scoring Sunderlandâ€™s stunning second in his best display for the club yet.
The ÂŁ10million summer signing from Manchester City revealed: â€śThe manager said at the final whistle that this is the start for me.
â€śThat itâ€™s going to get better and better for me at Sunderland.
â€śTo score is an amazing feeling, especially against your arch-rivals at their ground. That killed the game.
â€śIt gave me a great feeling to give something to the fans who havenâ€™t seen a lot of good football this season.â€ť