Sessegnon: Sunderland’s new look will end famine

Sunderland's Stephane Sessegnon.
Sunderland's Stephane Sessegnon.
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STEPHANE Sessegnon is confident Sunderland’s new-look formation can end the Black Cats’ lean spell in front of goal.

Sessegnon’s strike in last weekend’s defeat at West Brom was only Sunderland’s second goal in four Premier League outings after netting six times in the previous two.

Boss Martin O’Neill attempted to boost Sunderland’s threat at The Hawthorns by partnering January signing Danny Graham alongside Steven Fletcher, as the Wearsiders reverted to an orthodox 4-4-2 formation.

And Sessegnon, moved to a wide role to accommodate £5million Graham in the starting line-up against Steve Clarke’s side, was encouraged by the early signs from the front pair.

The Benin international told the Echo: “It’s a new system which the manager has decided to put in place, and I think there was enough to suggest that it can work for us over the next few games.

“There were a few occasions when they linked up well together and they had chances each too.

“For their first time starting a game together, it looked good.

“We created a lot of chances with two strikers up there and let’s hope that they can profit from them over the next few games.”

Sessegnon’s switch to the right appeared to breathe new life into the 28-year-old, who enjoyed one of his best outings of the season, despite seeing a glorious second-half opportunity cleared off the line.

But last year’s Player of the Season has played down any personal plaudits after Sunderland succumbed to a third successive top-flight defeat.

“Listen, what happens to the team is far more important than how I perform individually,” he said.

“I was down after the game because we came away with no points.

“Winning the match for everyone is always the biggest thing.

“I just hope I can keep making a good contribution and the team will start winning.”

O’Neill is expected to keep faith with the 4-4-2 system for Saturday’s visit of Fulham, as Sunderland look to restore some healthy breathing space with the relegation zone.

Sessegnon, who opened his account for the season with a stunning goal in November’s victory at Craven Cottage, knows the magnitude of the encounter after the margin with the bottom three was reduced to five points last weekend.

“I know they’re all important matches, but it is an important one against Fulham,” he added.

“It obviously won’t be easy against them after they beat Stoke last weekend.

“They’re a good team, but we won down there earlier in the season and hopefully we can stop the run of defeats.”