Sunderland striker Wickham declares fitness ahead of festive period

The Black Cats' forward has spoken of his desire to step in and attempt to help the Wearside club pull away from the relegation zone in their upcoming games
Connor Wickham believes that he is at full fitness and ready to aid struggling Sunderland as they approach a hectic Christmas schedule.

The Black Cats sit just a point clear of the drop zone and face a six-pointer on Saturday, when they travel to Southampton.

Martin O'Neill's men have largely found goals difficult to come by this term, but former Ipswich man Wickham believes he can help fire them up the table over the festive period, after replacing the injured Steven Fletcher in his side's recent defeat at Manchester United.

He told Sunderland's official website: "I feel stronger and fitter than I ever have before. Not being in the squad made me determined to come back stronger.

"I think my performances this season have been much better than previous.

"We've got loads of games coming up so maybe there will be an opportunity for me to get on or even start and score a few goals.

"The team know we have to win a good few games now and get a run going. There’s loads of games coming up and it’s an opportunity to get points on the board.

"We have created enough chances to score goals, and if we can score goals we’re going to win games."