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Sunderland boss Johnson backtracks on Arsenal comments

Sunderland manager Lee Johnson insists he was not trying to disrespect Arsenal with his previous comments ahead of Tuesday's Carabao Cup quarter-final.

Johnson drew the ire of Gooners when he said the League One club was happy to draw Mikel Arteta's side.

After being asked for his preference ahead of the draw, Johnson said: "I'd love to have Arsenal away, or Tottenham away if not that. And then we'll wait for the really big guns when it's two legs."

Asked if Arteta could use his words against him, the Black Cats head coach said: "Listen, that's my mistake if he did. I would use it - why wouldn't you? Whether or not he sees that as a big enough motivation…

"All I can say is I have the utmost respect for players, staff and the football club."


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