Sunderland 4 Cardiff City 0: Gus Poyet challenges Connor Wickham to write his name into Black Cats folklore and lead Sunderland to safety

Striker has scored five goals in three games to lift Sunderland out of the relegation zone

Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet urged striker Connor Wickham to write his name in Wearside folklore.

The 21-year-old claimed a double as the Black Cats lifted themselves out of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone with a 4-0 victory over Cardiff to take his tally since his return from a loan spell at Leeds to five goals in three games.

His efforts to date have helped Poyet's men to claim a draw at Manchester City and wins over Chelsea and the Bluebirds which have revitalised a season which looked to be spinning out of control.

It has been a remarkable turn-around for a man who previously had failed to make an impact an first-team level following his £8.1million switch from Ipswich in June 2011.

 

Asked if he had ever seen a player return from a loan spell to such effect, Poyet admitted: "No, I haven't, but I can tell you that I was hoping for that, that was the idea.

"Connor needed a run of games. I'm sure that in football, there are plenty of players who would like to come and see the manager and say, 'Come on, give me five games'.

"It's not that easy. But because of everything that has happened during the season, I was in a position where I was able to say, 'Go on, play from here and then it's up to you. It's not me, it's you'.

"He is changing our season around and if he if he maintains the level, he could be up there as one of the most remembered players at Sunderland, which would be great for him for the future."

Wickham headed the Black Cats into a 26th-minute lead and was then at the centre of the incident which swung the game firmly in his side's favour.

He capitalised on defender Juan Cala's error to run in on goal, only to be dragged back by the Spaniard, although referee Phil Dowd allowed play to continue before going back to the original incident and awarding a penalty and a red card.

Poyet said: "It's the best decision I have ever seen from a referee in my life, it's as simple as that.

"If we really want to stop players going down easily, this is the way, so all the credit to Phil today because he did what we all wanted, but it was for some reason not possible."

Fabio Borini converted the penalty and second-half goals from substitute Emanuele Giaccherini and Wickham wrapped up Sunderland's biggest league win since March 2010 and eased them into 17th place on goal difference.

Cardiff replaced them at the foot of the table, but manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is convinced they can still rescue themselves.

He said: "Yes, definitely. Two wins, that's what we at least thought needed before today, and we have got to go to Newcastle next week and try to win that one.

"You have got characters there. You could see them out there, still at 4-0 down, they don't give up, they don't sulk, they don't stop doing their best and that's what we have got to do for the next two weeks."

PA

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
News
i100
Sport
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Sport
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower