Wickham suggests where Sunderland need to improve to ensure their safety

Sunderland have scored just 23 goals in 28 Premier League matches this season.

Sunderland striker Connor Wickham has told the Northern Echo that his side need to become more ruthless in front of goal.

The Black Cats have struggled to hit the back of the net this season and Wickham feels that the responsibility lies with the strikers, as they are not taking their chances.

Jermain Defoe, Danny Graham, Steven Fletcher and Wickham himself have all not scored as frequently as expected this campaign and this is something that the 21-year-old wants to change. 

"Chances come and you do need to put them away," he said. "We are creating chances. The way we set up, we are setting up to attack at times when we get the ball. We do try to break as quickly as we can when we get the ball.

“We have done it in games but we have to get more consistent with it and get in to the box more. We will climb away from the rest of the group down there if we can start to put our chances away.”

Sunderland's total of 23 goals in 28 matches is the second lowest in England, with Aston Villa the only side to have struggled more in an attacking sense so far.

This lack of goals has meant that Sunderland have found wins hard to come by, with most of their points being accumulated through draws.

Gus Poyet's team have only been victorious in four Premier League matches this campaign and if this total doesn't improve between now and the end of the season they look destined for the drop. 

At the moment Sunderland are four points clear of 18th-placed Queens Park Rangers, but they are too close to the relegation zone for comfort and Wickham is correct in suggesting that they will need to become more clinical if they are to retain their Premier League status. 

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