Adam Johnson has praised the contribution of the fans in Saturday's 3-1 defeat to Chelsea and believes they could be key as the Black Cats go in search of a victory.
Johnson, whose goal was his first at the Stadium of Light, has admitted the team has deserved the criticism in recent weeks but felt the fans could see the team were giving there all on Saturday;
"The fans were brilliant, especially the ovation we received at the end.
"In recent weeks we haven't performed and we've probably deserved the criticism. But they realised we gave our all against Chelsea and we were unlucky. But with them on our side the results will start coming."
Johnson's goal came after a first-half Fernando Torres double and a second-half Juan Mata strike, goals which Johnson felt could've been prevented;
"The goals we conceded were mistakes, we can't keep doing that.
"Other than that we worked hard and tried hard and created chances. The keeper made a couple of top quality saves as well which also stopped us from getting another couple of goals and getting ourselves back into the game but it wasn't meant to be.
"It's always nice to score, I just wished it was a better result but from a personal point it's always nice to get a goal but the results matter and we are not getting them at the minute."
Johnson also reserved special praise for Connor Wickham, who made his first start at senior level for almost a year in place of the injured Steven Fletcher;
"He was excellent, he was a real handful and it's perhaps what we have needed at times someone who is an outlet and we can play it up to and get it under control.
"I was really pleased for him. He's played against two world-class defenders and done really well and hopefully he can push on."
Attention now turns to Tuesday's re-arranged home game against Reading which Johnson believes is a massive fixture for the club;
"The Reading game is a massive one for us and we're looking to get the three points."