Connor Wickham: Sunderland unconcerned by drop fears
Sunderland's players have not considered the prospect of relegation from the Premier League this season, according to striker Connor Wickham.
They have won one of the past 11 league games and are only four points above the drop zone with 10 games to play.
Last season Sunderland avoided relegation after four straight wins late on pulled them clear of danger.
"None of the lads are thinking about getting dragged into the same battle as last year," Wickham told BBC Newcastle.
"Last year we got ourselves out of a rut and this season it's been focusing on not getting into that position ever again.
"We've got the players in the dressing room, the mentality and the manager and staff to push us on. We should be better than being in that relegation battle."
Last week's draw with Hull City was Sunderland's fifth game without a win.
|Sunderland league scorers in 2014-15|
|Player||Games||Goals (not including 1 own goal)|
|Steven Fletcher||15 (+7 as sub)||4|
|Adam Johnson||21 (3)||4|
|Connor Wickham||22 (4)||3|
|Jack Rodwell||12 (4)||3|
|Jordi Gomez||16 (7)||2|
|Lee Cattermole||19 (2)||1|
One of the main problems for head coach Gus Poyet is the lack of goals from his side, with their 23 in 28 league games so far second only to Aston Villa's low of 15.
The signing of Jermain Defoe in the January transfer window was an attempt to boost their tally, but the former West Ham and Tottenham forward has added just two goals to his 124 Premier League strikes before moving from Toronto FC last summer.
"I wouldn't say it's not a good addition or wasn't going to plan," Wickham said. "It's the fact we're creating chances and we need to put them away.
"Jermaine Defoe is a great player who has proved that in the past and he has scored loads of Premier League goals.
"It's a valuable experience for me and the rest of the team to work off."