Poyet pleased with Black Cats striking options

Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet has been buoyed by the news that Connor Wickham could be back from a calf injury in time for Tuesday's Premier League tie with QPR.

January signing Jermain Defoe has scored two goals in his three league games and Poyet claims he cannot afford to drop the former Toronto striker at the moment.

Wickham now goes up against fellow forwards Steven Fletcher and Danny Graham to decide who gets to partner Defoe up front.

Although the news on Wickham's injury could give Poyet a bit of a headache, he claims he is delighted with the options he now has at his disposal.

QPR, who remain without a permanent manager since Harry Redknapp's departure last week, are currently in 19th place, losing their last four in the league.

"I feel great about the possibility of using the four strikers as much as we can," Poyet told the Sunderland Echo.

"We’re trying to see which is the best partner, the one who gives us the most.

"The sooner he [Wickham] gets back, the better for him because it means there's less chances for someone else.

"You need that competition to maintain what we want to do - to play higher up the pitch and be more aggressive up front.

"You need the players up front to be fresh, holding the ball and making the difference."

The sides met back in August, Rangers prevailing 1-0 with a goal from Charlie Austin, who will miss Tuesday's meeting with a bruised foot.