Sunderland striker Ross Stewart has revealed that the huge Stadium of Light support is one of the reasons he joined the Black Cats back in January 2020.
The Scotsman has scored five goals in eight games in League One in 2021/22 and helped Lee Johnson’s side take 19 points from eight games so far – putting them level on points with league leaders Wigan Athletic.
Stewart was forced to play second fiddle to Charlie Wyke in the first six months of his Sunderland career but has stepped out of the 28-year-old’s shadow since his move to Wigan and played every minute of every league game this term.
One of the things helping the 25-year-old to thrive for the North East club has been the return of fans to the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland have the highest average home attendance in the EFL in 2021/22 (30,437 as per Transfermarkt) and Stewart has revealed that he feeds off their support while playing at the Stadium of Light was one of the factors in joining the Black Cats.
He told the Sunderland Echo: “I loving it. I think a big crowd gives us a huge boost and certainly energises me in the later stages.
“It’s new to me and I think I’m thriving off it. I love it and is probably one of the reasons I came to a club like Sunderland.
“Obviously the stadium speaks for itself and the size of the crowd. When I first came down I wanted to test myself and see how I could cope and I’m really enjoying it.
“They have taken to me as well and every game I just try and give it my all.”
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“It is one of the reasons I came to the club,” Stewart continued. “Having spoken to the gaffer I knew how big a club it was.
“We are getting 30,000 plus every week and that is credit to them, and we want them to come and enjoy what they are watching.
“It is a really good balance at the minute between the team and the fans. Speaking personally, I’m really enjoying it as well.”
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The Black Cats fans are going to absolutely love to hear Stewart waxing lyrical about them.
You can see where Stewart is coming from as well because Sunderland is a big club and their supporters have been back at the Stadium of Light in full voice this term.
The towering striker has helped them quickly forget about Wyke and given them plenty to cheer about.
As long as Johnson’s side don’t wobble too much, the massive home support could be a vital factor in their promotion push but you do worry that they could turn on the manager if things go dramatically downhill.
For the minute though, it has helped them win their last five home games on the bounce.