Charlie Wyke has endured a tough season at the Stadium of Light, struggling for goals as well as suffering two separate injury blows.
He’s been playing second fiddle to Will Grigg, although he returned to the starting line up for the resounding 3-0 win at Accrington Stanley that has fuelled belief of a top two finish.
Wyke received a rousing reception from the travelling fans, despite not being at his best of late and he took time to praise their efforts in the Sunderland Echo this week.
“Over the last few weeks there’s been no one more frustrated with me, to get that reception was fantastic and obviously it’s a big boost for my confidence,” he said.
Despite losing the EFL Trophy final to Sunderland just 72 hours earlier, the Black Cats took 1,500 fans to Accrington for the Wednesday evening encounter, something the 26-year-old felt was a big factor in the critical win.
“I was desperate to repay them with a goal but the win is more important. I thought they were fantastic. After what happened in the final, they came out in their numbers and really got behind us.”
Jack Ross’ side travel to Rochdale this weekend, before hosting Burton Albion in midweek as they look to catch Barnsley, not only on points but also games in hand.
They’re currently just three points behind the Tykes, with two extra matches to play although their goal difference will need propping up as they trail by four.
Wyke hasn’t been in good form, but positive support can help change all of that. He needs a goal or two, but his all round play was strong on Wednesday.
He looks to work better in a two man attack and if he strikes a relationship with Will Grigg it could be massively important to the side.