STEVEN FLETCHER has pledged to keep his goal target private despite continuing the stunning start to his Sunderland career.
Fletcher notched his fifth in four Premier League outings in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Wigan to remain Sunderland’s only top-flight goalscorer this season.
The 25-year-old found the net 12 times for relegated Wolves last season and has insisted since his £12million summer switch that exceeding that tally is his primary objective this year.
But Fletcher will not divulge his hopes of a final figure, despite comparisons already being drawn with Sunderland’s last 20-goal-a-season striker, Darren Bent.
The Scottish frontman said: “I kind of keep it to myself.
“The first thing is to do better than last year and if I can keep improving that will keep me happy.
“I just go out and play the game the best way I can and I do not like putting that kind of pressure on myself.
“You need goals and I have scored them early doors.
“They (Bent’s) are big boots to fill, but hopefully I’m doing that with five goals in four games and hopefully I can keep that going.”
Fletcher was quick to acknowledge his supporting cast after helping Sunderland to a first league win of the campaign – the former Hibs man steering James McClean’s cross-cum-shot nonchalantly past Ali Al-Habsi.
“I am delighted the way it has started for me here,” he said.
“When I came here, I knew I would get chances with the players we have and the delivery the boys are putting in has been fantastic.
“They are always giving me tap-ins or first-touch finishes.
“Normally there is just one player who can get a ball in like that, but we have several whose delivery we can rely on.”
Fletcher now faces a daunting task to continue his run of scoring in every game for the Black Cats, with Martin O’Neill’s men heading to unbeaten reigning Premier League champions Manchester City on Saturday lunchtime.
He added: “It’s a great confidence boost for us. We will take that confidence into next week.
“It is going to be a tough game. It always is when you go to Manchester City.
“It is on TV, so that is an added bonus for us. We will want to show what we can do.”