CONNOR WICKHAM admits Sunderland’s players were left ruing one that got away after a series of missed chances at Stoke City.
Wickham got Sunderland off to a dream start at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday when he bundled the ball home with just a minute on the clock to net his sixth of the season.
It drops us into the bottom three, but there’s more points to gained over the next four weeksConnor Wickham
But both before and after Charlie Adam equalised for the Potters, Sunderland had chances to add to their tally - Jermain Defoe spurning a couple, Wickham denied a second by a stunning last-gasp challenge from Ryan Shawcross and Billy Jones’ shot diverted just past the post.
While Sunderland came away with a point, it couldn’t prevent them falling into the relegation zone after wins elsewhere for fellow strugglers Leicester and Hull.
Yet while striker Wickham stressed that the battle against the drop has plenty more twists still to come, there was a sense of regret that Sunderland had not managed to record a first away victory since December.
Wickham said: “Of course we’re ruing the chances, but hopefully we can use that as a positive point.
“It would have been a brilliant three points for us, but as it is, we’ve got to take one.
“It drops us into the bottom three, but there’s more points to gained over the next four weeks.
“I wouldn’t write us off just yet.
“Stoke are a big strong team, who play direct football and have got good players.
“But we’re still going to see it as two points lost.”
It was the second successive game that Wickham had found the net, with the 22-year-old now Sunderland’s top scorer this season.
Wickham was Sunderland’s biggest threat throughout the encounter, particularly during the second half when the Black Cats enjoyed their best spell of the game after a change in formation at the break.
“It was nice to get on the scoresheet after a minute and score for the second game running,” added Wickham.
“But the second half performance outshone the first one, and we need to start every game like that.
“There’s still a long way to go though, so we’re not going to write ourselves off just yet.”