Victor Anichebe discusses Sunderland future and why he came back early from injury lay-off

Victor Anichebe is not thinking about his Sunderland future, but says he has nothing but fondness for a '˜great club' with a '˜great fanbase'.

Thursday, 20th April 2017, 5:00 am
Updated Sunday, 7th May 2017, 8:52 pm

The Nigerian moved to Wearside last September after another difficult transfer window for the Black Cats, but made a major impact once fit.

He has started in four of Sunderland’s five Premier League wins this season, instrumental in a promising run of form during November and early December.

Injuries have curtailed his progress significantly and Sunderland have struggled without him, particularly after their failure to sign fellow target man Leonardo Ulloa from Leicester in January.

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Anichebe returned from his latest lay-off in the 2-0 defeat to Leicester City, and while he is yet to improve on his season tally of three goals, Sunderland’s attacking play has improved.

The 28-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season but insists for now he is focusing purely on keeping fit and trying to help the side finish the season on a high.

He said: “I’m not thinking about it at the moment, I just need to stay fit and help us get some wins, for the fans here and our ourselves.”

Anichebe is one of a number of players whose deal expires in the summer, alongside club stalwarts John O’Shea and Seb Larsson and many others.

Whether the Nigerian stays on Wearside remains to be seen, with doubts over his ability to last a long and arduous Championship season should the Black Cats fail to beat the drop. David Moyes has already said he hopes to build a ‘more robust’ squad after a brutal injury list this season.

Anichebe has revealed he returned from his latest injury ahead of schedule to aid the relegation fight, and has paid tribute to a ‘great club’.

He said: “I love it here, before I got injured I felt great, performances were good, someone was saying that outside Hazard I was one of the highest ranked attackers in the league, so I’ve enjoyed it.

“The fans have been great to me, it is a really great club, so whenever I go out there I try as hard as I can. This injury was meant to keep me out for 12/13 weeks but I came back after nine, because I wanted to help the team because I know I can with the different style I bring.

“It’s a great club, great stadium, great training facilities, great fanbase, it’s a shame we are where we are.”