DANNY Welbeck admits Sunderland need to find a creative spark if they are to bring an end to their seven-hour goal drought.
The Black Cats have drawn a blank in each of their last four games and have not found the net since Asamoah Gyan’s 11th minute strike against Tottenham, almost two months ago.
January’s controversial departure of striker Darren Bent has been pinpointed as one reason behind Sunderland’s lean streak, while new signings Stephane Sessegnon and Sulley Muntari are still to settle at the Stadium of Light.
Welbeck knows Sunderland need to offer more of a threat in the final third after barely creating a chance in the last two games against Liverpool and Manchester City.
The England striker told the Echo: “I didn’t realise it was so long without scoring.
“We’ve played against some tough teams over the last few games, but we should be scoring goals and everyone should be pitching in.
“The creative side of our game hasn’t been up to scratch recently and we’ve got to improve on that.
“There’s been changes in players with Darren leaving and Sulley and Stephane coming in. But we’re working on it every day in training and, once we gel, we’ll be a dangerous force to deal with.”
On-loan Manchester United striker Welbeck was particularly stung by Sunderland’s 5-0 defeat at Manchester City last weekend.
The manner of the loss has sharpened the focus on Sunderland’s Premier League status with just six points separating Steve Bruce’s side from the drop zone. But Welbeck insists Sunderland haven’t changed their target of finishing in the top half – a place they are likely to occupy if they beat West Brom on Saturday.
“You can’t just erase a game like Man City from your memory – it’s always going to be there,” said Welbeck.
“I was pretty down with it being against Man City, too.
“But what we can do is bounce back from it against West Brom on Saturday. It’s a pivotal game of our season.
“To get three points would be massive and then we would be able to progress from there.
“I know, with the group of players we’ve got here and the quality we’ve got in the team, we’re still looking to push up rather than going down.
“We’re only three points off seventh, so a win on Saturday and hopefully we can get back up there.
“Obviously, you’ve got to be aware of what’s happening below you, but that’s not our main concern.”
Welbeck played 90 minutes against City for the first time since returning from two months out injured and insists there was no reaction from the game.
The 20-year-old added: “I came through the game fine. I started cramping off in the last couple of minutes, but, other than that, I felt pretty well.
“I wasn’t worried about it. When you’ve had muscle injuries, you can get a bit of cramp when you’re coming back, especially when you’re not up to match fitness.”