Wickham responds to fan criticism of Sunderland's playing style

Sunderland striker Connor Wickham has defended his side over criticism of their playing style.

Sunderland forward Connor Wickham has defended the team against criticism from fans in the Northern Echo.

Wickham admits he’s aware that fans have been growing increasingly frustrated by the side’s performances, but he says the style the side is trying to use is more complicated than simply launching attacks at the opposition.

“We understand the fans want good football and to win matches. This season has been different – we are trying to play the ball around and get it down, which can frustrate fans because we are not just going on the attack,” said Wickham.

“It is hard when we get frustrated with us but we need them to stand by us. They are the best fans behind us when they are behind us.”

Regardless of the way Sunderland play for the rest of the season, what they need is results and points going onto the board.

The side is not clear of the relegation fight towards the bottom of the table and while there is a desire from Gus Poyet for the team to play good football, it’s not always possible and sometimes better to go direct when looking for goals and results.

If the Black Cats find a way of scoring goals, the fans will get behind the team and the benefits will be obvious over the rest of the season.

The space and freedom for the side to play a more expansive and entertaining brand of football will follow later in the season and Poyet can experiment to his heart’s content, once the side is mathematically safe from the drop.

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