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Wickham talks up Sunderland's chances

In-form Wickham's purple patch continued as he scored twice in a 4-0 hammering of fellow-strugglers Cardiff City at a packed Stadium of Light.

The 21-year-old frontman has struggled to make an impact on Wearside since his big-money move from Ipswich Town in 2011 and has spent spells on loan with Championship sides Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United.

However, Wickham has been given a new lease of life under Gus Poyet in recent weeks scoring both goals in a 2-2 draw at title contenders Manchester City and also finding the back of the net in last weekend's stunning 2-1 win at Chelsea.

He was at it again on Sunday, scoring two headers and being brought down for a penalty which was scored by Fabio Borini and resulted in Juan Cala being sent off just before half-time.

Emanuele Giaccherini also helped himself to a goal and the Welsh side have now replaced resurgent Sunderland at the foot of the table, while Poyet's men are just above the drop zone on goal difference.

Norwich City are now in the bottom three and Wickham believes Sunderland have the character to stay out of trouble with three games remaining.

He is quoted by BBC Sport: "We've got fighters in the dressing room. We've got determination and grit and that's why we're doing well lately.

"Hopefully, this will give us a boost. We're out of the relegation zone and we'll keep fighting to stay there."

Wickham also expressed his gratitude to Poyet after being a chance to prove his worth.

He said: "I'm over the moon. I can't ask for much more. The manager has given me time on the pitch and I'm repaying him with my performances."