James McClean

McClean looking to bounce back

by Stuart Vose

Winger previews Britannia trip.

James McClean is hoping a visit to one of his favoured grounds will help him kick-start his season.

The winger has been frustrated with his progress so far and returns to Stoke’s Britannia Stadium this weekend having scored the winner there last season.

McClean, who is in his second season with Sunderland, is hoping a trip to the Potteries will see him getting back on top once more.

“I’ve got good memories of Stoke from last year when we played well there,” he said.

“The conditions weren’t the best – it was a really cold day – but I managed to get a goal and we got the result.

“I haven’t had the best of starts to the season and hopefully on Saturday I can put in a performance and kick on from that.

“It’s been a little bit frustrating. I’ve managed to chip in with a couple of goals in the cup but I want to continue my form from last season in the league and hopefully I can do that.”

The two sides are separated only by goal difference going into the game, with Stoke marginally ahead.

City have pieced together a 10-match unbeaten run at home in the league since McClean’s winner in the Potteries back in early February.

Sunderland, meanwhile, have tasted defeat only once this season, losing at the hands of reigning champions Manchester City.

“We’ve picked up a few points and only been beaten once, so hopefully we can keep that going,” McClean added.

“It’s going to be a battle down there. They will get the ball forward and we’ll have to dig in.

“We did the job there last year so hopefully come Saturday we can get the same outcome.”