Steven Fletcher ignores transfer talk in bid to rediscover Sunderland form

Steven Fletcher

Steven Fletcher

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Steven Fletcher is ignoring speculation over his future, as he attempts to get back to the form he showed at the start of his Sunderland career.

Fletcher’s status at the Stadium of Light has been in question all summer, with the Scotland international now in the final 12 months of his contract.

I’ve had a few talks with the club, but nothing serious as yet

Steven Fletcher

Celtic had expressed an interest in Fletcher, before admitting surrender in the battle to match his wages, but Sunderland have been willing to consider offers for the 28-year-old.

But Fletcher claims he is purely focused on rediscovering his goal touch from his first season at the Stadium of Light after netting just eight times in his last two injury-hit years.

When asked about his future, Fletcher told the Echo: “I haven’t really thought about it to be honest. I’ve got other things on my mind trying to stay fit and score goals.

“I’ve had a few talks with the club, but nothing serious as yet.

“They’re probably waiting to see whether I stay fit or not!”

Fletcher scored 11 times during his first season at Sunderland after a £12million move from Wolves, but has found goals far harder to come by since.

The striker has even reverted to the squad number handed to him when he first joined Sunderland, in a bid to turn around his fortunes.

And while Sunderland endured an awful start to the campaign at Leicester City last weekend, Fletcher opened his account for the season after coming off the bench.

He said: “I just went back to number 26. It’s what I wore when I first came, and it’s my birthday, too, so why not.

“The change (of numbers) wasn’t down to me. Other people wanted to move me to nine, rather than me and I was asked whether I wanted a different number, so I thought ‘why not?’.

“It’s always nice to get off the mark early-doors, especially in the first game of the season.

“I has happy with that, although obviously the result was very disappointing.

“But there are still a fair few games to go.”

Fletcher is in contention to come into the starting XI for Sunderland’s opening home game against Norwich this weekend, with Dick Advocaat admitting he cannot use Jermain Defoe in his favoured 4-3-3 system.

Sunderland have been working on an orthodox 4-4-2 in training this week, and Fletcher hopes he gets the nod against the Canaries.

“He always puts us together in training, and we link up well and are starting to form a good partnership,” added Fletcher.

“I think he’s just biding his time really and hopefully it’ll be this weekend.

“As a striker, it’s always nice to have a helping hand up there, instead of having the whole role on your own.

“And with the four behind you, you get a lot of support.

“But that’s down to the gaffer, not me.”