Martin O’Neill is backing Adam Johnson to relish in his first return to the Etihad when Sunderland face Manchester City tomorrow.
The England winger sealed his move to the North East after falling out-of-favour under Roberto Mancini last year.
And the 25-year-old, who cost the Black Cats £10million, will be raring to face his old teammates and prove his worth to new manager O’Neill.
“It’s a big game for him,” the Sunderland boss said. “I was asked if he has a point to prove, and I think yes, he would have.
“For him going back there, I think he will relish it. I am hoping he does well against his old team and that he comes up big in the game.”
Both sides remain unbeaten this season but it is City’s defensive record that has come under fire after they have failed to keep a clean sheet since May.