NICKLAS Bendtner won’t get carried away by his exploits in front of goal despite scoring his third in four games for club and country.
The on-loan Arsenal striker’s stoppage time strike in Saturday’s 2-0 victory at Bolton was his second in as many outings for Sunderland after missing the previous weekend’s trip to his parent club.
Bendtner also grabbed the winner for Denmark against Portugal during back-to-back Euro 2012 qualifiers earlier this month, but insists that getting Sunderland up the table takes priority over his goal return.
“It’s two in two now for Sunderland and I scored for Denmark inbetween, but let’s not get carried away,” said the 23-year-old.
“It’s going great and when you win it also feels much better. But I would rather we won than I scored.
“It’s essential that we carry this forward to the next game. The next one is major. We have got to go into it with the same belief.
“This is the Premier League and if you don’t win week in, week out, and get points on the table, you don’t climb.”
Bendtner admits the table looks more positive for the Black Cats after a first away win of the season moved them up to 14th, three points clear of the bottom three.
But the frontman knows a third successive win at the Reebok Stadium will count for nothing if Sunderland fail at home to Aston Villa on Saturday.
Bendtner added: “It is all very well talking about this result and being satisfied with the three points, but we have to carry on.
“We have put a marker down and we have to try to carry that over to the weekend. If we come out and play badly on Saturday against Aston Villa then what we have achieved at Bolton is worth nothing.
“If you looked at this season’s statistics, they said it all.
“We had played teams where we should have won and that affects the way supporters think.
“It looks better now after this win. We have to make sure it looks even better again next Saturday. It helps to lift everyone. Everyone is happier when you win.”
Boss Steve Bruce, meanwhile, reckons his young striker is capable of scoring 15 goals a season – a target the manager believes is the benchmark for a top Premier League striker these days.
He said: “Nicklas is only 23 and I think people forget that sometimes because he’s been around in the game from such a young age.
“He’s just helped Denmark get through to the Euro finals and he’s now scoring regularly which I think is a spin-off of playing regularly and in his preferred position, which he didn’t really get at Arsenal.
“I think he can score 15 goals for us this season because he’s a good finisher and he can finish left foot, right foot and with his head.
“And 15 goals would be enough.
“It might not sound that ambitious but there’s not many who score 20 these days and you hardly ever see anyone score 25 or 30 these days. If Nicklas gets 15, he’ll have done a great job for us.”