'It is one of the reasons I came to Sunderland': Striker makes honest admission that fans will love
Ross Stewart is thriving off the energy from the Sunderland crowd and says it’s one of the main reasons he joined the club.
The 25-year-old frontman signed for the Black Cats from Ross County in January and has started this season in fine form, scoring five goals in eight league games.
Stewart wasn’t able to get on the scoresheet as Sunderland recorded a 1-0 win over Bolton on Wearside, yet the Scottish frontman says he was spurred on by a crowd of 32,368 at the Stadium of Light.
“I loving it. I think a big crowd gives us a huge boost and certainly energises me in the later stages,” said Stewart after the match.
“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.
“It is one of the reasons I came to the club. 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.”
Sunderland have now won five consecutive home games this season and Stewart believes the Stadium of Light can be an intimidating place for opponents.
“We spoke at the start of the season about home form being important and I think we’ve seen that,” he added.
“We are obviously unbeaten at home and it’s going to be a huge factor in terms of where we want to be come the end of the season in terms of winning home games. Hopefully we can keep doing that.
“We know it’s going to be tough but at the same time we want to make it as tough as possible for teams to come here with the crowd, the playing style, the high press and really make it difficult.
“If we can do that and show our quality on the ball I’m sure we will win games here.”
Stewart’s form has led to talk about a potential call-up for Scotland, yet the striker is trying to keep his feet on the ground.
“I think if it was to happen, representing your country would be a huge honour,” Stewart added.
“It’s probably something that recently I haven’t given much thought, but at the same time I just want to keep doing well for Sunderland and if that was something that happens it would be a huge honour.
“My focus right now is just to keep trying to do well for Sunderland.”