Friday, 2nd May, 2014

Sunderland boss Gus Poyet has hailed the "valuable" influence of striker Connor Wickham in leading his side out of the Premier League drop zone.

The 21-year-old was recalled from a loan spell at Leeds United to bolster his team's attacking options at the end of March.

Since then he has been highly impressive for the Black Cats, scoring five goals in three matches against Manchester City, Chelsea and Cardiff City.

His performance during the month has earned him the Premier League's Player of the Month award for April.


Speaking about the youngster's influence in changing the scenario for Sunderland, Poyet told his club's official site: “When somebody, especially in front of goal, is in such form it gives you a chance to win.

“Then you need to be organised, defend well and do the basics because you know someone can give you goals. That’s so valuable."

The 46-year-old manager believes that the way in which Wickham has taken his chances after coming back from Leeds is "special".

“We got to a point where we needed something different, special. He had a chance.

“After that it was all up to him. Forget about the head coach giving him a chance or giving him confidence.

"We can talk about that, but at the end of the day it’s all about the player on the pitch”, the Uruguayan added.

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