Sunderland striker Connor Wickham has explained how manager Gus Poyet made it a lot easier for him to sign a new contract at the club.
Wickham has detailed what was talked about in meetings with his manager, which resulted in him signing a new four-year contract at the club, tying his long term future down to the North East club.
“Over a month, I sat with the gaffer on two occasions and he explained to me what he wanted me to do,” Wickham told the Chronicle.
“We had a good chat for half an hour, 45 minutes, and we got a lot out in the open and we understood each other.”
“Now I know what he wants from me and that has made it a lot easier. He said to me way before the negotiations even started what he wanted me to do for this season.”
The fact Wickham has made 17 starts shows how highly rated he is by Poyet and one of the things the boss is likely to have stressed, was a desire for the 21-year-old to improve his strike rate.
He’s scored two goals and produced one assist so far this season, but has played in four different positions already in the current campaign, which can make consistency a problem.
He’s an extremely talented young player and Poyet deserves praise for clarifying the situation over his future and meeting with the player personally, to resolve any conflict and ease any fears Wickham may have held over how he was perceived by his manager.
Wickham is putting a little bit of pressure on himself by admitting he’s now fully aware of how Poyet wants him to play and approach games, but that’s something which should only work in Sunderland’s favour.
Wickham will be the first to admit that his ratio hasn’t been good enough and with everyone behind him, he has a great platform to push on.