Advocaat reveals 'risk' he took against West Ham: Did it pay off?

Connor Wickham was handed a new role as an attacking midfielder for Sunderland against West Ham United.

New Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat has told the Shields Gazette how impressed he was with Connor Wickham during his first game in charge against West Ham United.

Wickham was deployed in a new role behind the strikers and Advocaat admits that he took a gamble by playing the 21-year-old in an unfamiliar position.

The Dutch boss feels that it was a risk that paid off, though, with Wickham proving to be one of his side's most potent outlets throughout the match.

“I took a risk with Wickham in a position he never played, but he did really well," he said. "Wickham is a natural striker, but he played excellent.”

Wickham has had to play in a range of positions this season, with Gus Poyet generally opting to give him a role as a winger.

It has limited his effectiveness somewhat and there have been concerns over his poor form throughout the campaign.

Wickham was more impressive against West Ham, though, and will be hoping that he will continue to be handed a more central function under Advocaat.

The England U21 international has already saved Sunderland once, with his performances towards the back end of last campaign, and will be hoping to have a similar impact this time around.

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