Debut Boys

Fletcher happy with debut

by Stuart Vose

Striker wowed by welcome.

Steven Fletcher says he was bowled over by the reaction of the Sunderland fans as he got his first match action of the season under his belt.

The big striker made his debut at the Stadium of Light against Morecambe on Tuesday evening and was greeted by a huge roar after emerging from the tunnel before the game.

He was delighted to get some valuable minutes under his belt and admitted the reception – including a standing ovation when he was substituted – was a huge bonus.

“It was really nice to hear the fans’ reaction when my name was called out at the start and when I came off,” Fletcher said.

“I thought we played well on the night. We passed the ball around and it was good to get the win.

“I just wanted to get the minutes under my belt. It’s been a bit of a stop-start pre-season for me anyway – I wanted to get on the pitch.

“I spoke to the gaffer before the game and said I needed quite a few minutes, so it was a good run-out.”

Rumours had swirled for weeks regarding a potential move to Wearside before Fletcher finally got the green light.

The striker has signed a four-year contract with the Black Cats and admits he’s been hugely impressed since arriving.

“Sunderland ticks all the boxes for me – it’s a massive club and closer to home too,” he explained.

“Martin O’Neill is fantastic, and I knew that as soon as I spoke to him. When you talk to him, you walk away with a smile on your face.

“I’m glad he stuck at it and got me here in the end.”

Fletcher netted 12 goals for former club Wolves last season, including two against Sunderland.

 “Hopefully I can score more this season,” he added.

“I always try to beat my total from the previous year and this one will be no different.”