The former Manchester City player claimed his first Premier League goal since last season in the club's 2-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
"I think he's one of the most talented players at the club, without a doubt," Poyet told the Shields Gazette. "I just want to manage him well and make him the best he can be.
"That's my way of managing and I'm sure he will be. It's just a matter of starting to control the games and using him at the right place at the right time."
Prior to the Black Cats' clash against Tottenham, Johnson was confined to a starting spot on the substitutes' bench against Aston Villa and Chelsea.