Spurs v SAFC

Wickham eyeing progress

by Stuart Vose

Striker hoping for better things next season.

Connor Wickham says Sunderland are looking to push on after confirming a seventh successive season of Barclays Premier League football.

The Black Cats rounded off the season with a battling 1-0 defeat at Spurs last weekend but Wickham isn't happy with mere survival.

He is already looking ahead to next season as head coach Paolo Di Canio looks to build after securing the club's top-flight status.

“We shouldn’t be in that [finishing] position with the squad we’ve got,” said Wickham, who made 14 appearances in 2012-13.

“We shouldn’t be anywhere near that position so next season we’ll come back and we all know we’re going to move forward.

“Hopefully we’ll push on as a unit and become a stronger team next season.”

The striker, who has just completed his second season on Wearside, says he's looking to establish himself as a regular in 2013-14 having had to battle for a starting place so far.

The former Ipswich man scored against Bolton in the FA Cup with Budweiser back in January before heading out on loan to get first-team football.

He made six appearances for Sheffield Wednesday, scoring once, before getting more of a look-in on his return to Wearside.

Asked whether he feels he can play more regularly next season, Wickham said: “I hope so, I’m always confident in my own ability and what I'm capable of.

“I just needed someone to give me the chance – injuries and suspensions have given me the opportunity to show what I can do.

“It’s unfortunate we’ve run out of games now but hopefully next season I can try and cement a place again.”