Sunderland's Connor Wickham feels in 'good form' but urges side to be at 'very best'

Wickham found the net for the fifth time at the Britannia Stadium in Sunderland's 1-1 draw with Stoke City.

Sunderland striker Connor Wickham has said that he feels in good form after finding the net during Saturday's 1-1 draw with Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium, but the forward has warned his teammates that they are going to have to be at their 'very best' between now and the end of the season.

The Black Cats slipped into the relegation zone on the back of their stalemate with the Potters – with fellow strugglers Hull City and Leicester City both winning.

Wickham is quoted in the Chronicle as saying: “I’m feeling in good form and good shape but the reality is we’re all going to have to be at our very best over the next few games if we’re to get to where we want to be.

“It’s a team game and I thought as a team we all pulled together against Stoke. It meant we got a decent away point because it’s always difficult coming to the Britannia.

“It’s just a disappointment we couldn’t build on the early goal because overall, especially on our second-half performance, we felt as though we could and should have got all three points.”

Winning games has been a problem for Sunderland this season, with interim boss Dick Advocaat enduring similar struggles to ousted head coach Gus Poyet.

Prior to the Dutchman's arrival, Sunderland had only won four games this season, and have won just the one since - a seemingly customary win over Newcastle United in the Wear-Tyne derby.

Their current position is perilous in the Premier League as they are a point adrift of safety, so need to find some sort of winning habit in their final five games.

  PositionTeamGoalsAppearancesMins Played
Connor Wickham FW Sunderland 5 31 2,374

They are a point behind Leicester City, who are in very good form having won each of their last four games, and Hull City are in a similar position. The Tigers, though, face a testing run-in and could be vulnerable to replacing Sunderland in the drop zone if they can string some positive results together over the remainder of the season.

But Sunderland's run-in is pretty awkward as well, with home games against Southampton and Leicester to come, but very difficult trips to Everton, Arsenal and Chelsea also on the cards where it is hard to see them picking up many, if any, points. 

If they want to get results, they need Wickham to replicate displays like that he put in on Saturday - and towards the end of last season - by finding the net on a regular basis. His goal return isn't the best over the course of the season, and he needs to improve if the Black Cats are to beat the drop yet again.

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