Sunderland's Connor Wickham piles pressure on himself

Sunderland's Connor Wickham believes that Ricky Alvarez will provide the strikers with the service which has been lacking so far this season.

Sunderland striker Connor Wickham has piled the pressure on himself and the rest of the club's struggling strike-force to start hitting the back of the net. 

The Black Cats have scored just 14 times in their first 16 Premier League matches, and they know that a sharp improvement is needed if they are to be able to move away from the drop-zone. 

At the moment poor service has been blamed for Sunderland's strikers' bad form, but Wickham believes that excuses will run out soon when Ricky Alvarez comes into the team.

The young forward, who has just signed a new long-term contract at the Stadium of Light, believes that Alvarez's creativity will lead to an increase in the amount of chances that the team create and it will then be up to the team to take these opportunities. 

"Ricky has been in training for the last couple of weeks and he’s looked really sharp, so I think he will only make the squad stronger and hopefully he can help us get the wins that we need," Wickham said to the club's official site

“He is a player that will excite the fans and he offers something different up front, which you have seen glimpses of because he is tricky, he can take people on and he can commit defenders.

“He is going to be the one that is going to create the chances for us so it is now down to the strikers and the rest of the team to put them away.”

Alvarez was brought in on loan from Inter Milan this summer to add an attacking spark to the side's play, but his transfer has not worked out to date.

Injuries have rather blighted his progress at his new club, and he will be looking to make up for lost time now he is close to making a full recovery. 

Alvarez has came off the substitutes' bench in the last three games which Sunderland have played, but he will be hoping to play a starting role with the games coming thick and fast over the Christmas period. 

If he does, Wickham could be one of the players set to benefit the most from his introduction. So far this season the 21-year-old has only managed two league goals and he knows this total will need to increase if he is to prove his worth to the team. 

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