Middlesbrough striker Ashley Fletcher wants to thank Sunderland

Ashley Fletcher of Sunderland (L) has his shot saved by Ben Alnwick during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bolton Wanderers and Sunderland at Macron Stadium on February 20, 2018 in...

Middlesbrough loaned out Ashley Fletcher to the Sunderland last season, but his move to the Stadium of Light didn't work out.

Ashley Fletcher of Middlesbrough runs with the ball during The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Middlesbrough and Brighton at Riverside Stadium on January 27, 2018 in...

Middlesbrough striker Ashley Fletcher has told the Northern Echo that he needs to thank Sunderland for the loan spell he spent with them last season.

Fletcher joined Sunderland in January last year, and the move didn’t work out as hoped.

Fletcher struggled to find his shooting boots at the Stadium of Light, and only scored two goals, as Sunderland suffered relegation from the Championship.

 

The target-man forward received a great deal of criticism during his time on Wearside.

But Fletcher, who scored twice for Middlesbrough in midweek, believes that the loan spell actually helped him progress as a player.

“I think the experiences of last season have helped me, 100 per cent,” he said.

Ashley Fletcher of Sunderland (L) has his shot saved by Ben Alnwick during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bolton Wanderers and Sunderland at Macron Stadium on February 20, 2018 in...

“In a strange way, I have to thank Sunderland. I went there as their number nine, and it’s a huge club. I hope to see them back in the Championship next season.”

Sunderland are in the thick of a promotion battle as things stand, and currently occupy a spot in the top two.

Jack Ross’ side have bounced back from relegation well, and their destiny now lies in their own hands, with just six games remaining this season.

Ashley Fletcher of Sunderland controls the ball under a challenge by Kevin McDonald of Fulham FC during the Sky Bet Championship match between Fulham and Sunderland at Craven Cottage on...

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch