Sunderland manager Gustavo Poyet was full of praise for his side after they moved out of the Premier League’s bottom three with a 4-0 victory over fellow strugglers Cardiff City, writes Sky
Striker Connor Wickham, recently recalled to the Sunderland side after a brief loan spell at Championship outfit Leeds United, scored twice to make it five goals in three games, having only scored once in the Premier League prior to that.
With Sunderland coming into the game with the worst home record in the top-flight, the first 25 minutes were evenly matched, until Wickham headed home from a corner to give his team the lead.
The big turning point of the match came on the stroke of half time when referee Phil Dowd awarded a penalty for Juan Cala’s tug on Wickham, despite playing a long advantage and the striker not going to ground. Cala was sent off, with Poyet hailing the penalty award as ‘the best refereeing decision ever’.
After Fabio Borini had confidently converted from the spot, the second half was comfortable for the hosts with Emanuele Giaccherini adding the third before Wickham capped a fine afternoon for the Black Cats with another headed goal.
After the game, Poyet spoke of his belief that the club can now avoid relegation. He said: “I think we need to win a couple of games to be really safe, but the idea is everyone is believing and not just the group. Of course we have had plenty of setbacks and now it is the other way around and we are taking advantage of little breaks and are on a bit of a run.”
On Wickham’s form, he added: “He was ready when he was needed. He waited for his chance, he needed a run of games sometimes it is difficult for managers to give a player a quantity of games to one player in particular but he deserves it because of what he has been doing in the last two years.
“It was time as well and sometimes you get in at the right time and that was important for us. I have said it all the way along the last couple of weeks, if he keeps his form he is going to save us practically on his own.”
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