Connor Wickham wasn’t expecting Sunderland relegation scrap

Sunderland Inc Wickham

The Sunderland forward hasn't thought about another relegation scrap.

Sunderland striker Connor Wickham has insisted that a fight for Premier League survival has never crossed his mind, according to the Daily Mail.

The Black Cats beat Burnley on Saturday afternoon to move into 14th place and four points clear of the relegation zone, with all of their rivals losing their games.

The victory was their first since December, and only their second at home all season, and Wickham, who notched the first goal of the game, has said that he hasn’t considered the possibility of relegation.

"You can never guarantee you are safe - you just have to look at last season,” he said.

“We were seven points adrift and then we managed to avoid it. I don't think anybody can guarantee safety until it's mathematical, so we are not even thinking about that. Obviously the aim is to stay in the Premier League and do the best we can, but I don't think - well, for me personally, relegation has never crossed my mind, so it shouldn't for the team either."

The game saw manager Gus Poyet using Wickham alongside new signing Jermain Defoe, abandoning the system of three centre backs he had recently employed, as he seeks to find a formation in which the former Tottenham Hotspur man can prosper.

The Wickham-Defoe partnership echoed the famous big man, little man duo of Niall Quinn and Kevin Phillips that proved so successful for Sunderland in the past, with full-backs Anthony Reveillere and Patrick Van Aanholt providing support from the wings.

It was a Reveillere cross that Wickham converted for his fourth goal of the season, while Defoe converted Van Aanholt’s pull-back 14 minutes later. Now, the striker has praised the overall team display and their comfort in victory.

“We played well as a team and we looked comfortable,” he added.

“I have not had much of a chance to play in a game situation with Jermain. On Saturday, we got the opportunity and we both managed to score.”

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch