FABIO BORINI would gladly swap his position in Sunderland folklore for three points against Crystal Palace tomorrow.
Borini became the first Black Cats player to score in a major final since 1973 earlier this month, when he netted the opener against Manchester City at Wembley.
But the on-loan Liverpool forward believes a goal in this weekend’s crunch relegation encounter against Crystal Palace would hold far more importance, particularly as Sunderland were unable to end their trophy drought against City.
Borini concurs with head coach Gus Poyet that this is the biggest game of the season, with second bottom Sunderland facing the chance to leapfrog Palace in the battle to beat the drop.
“I think it would be even more important if I scored the winner against Palace,” said Borini.
“At Wembley, we ended up losing 3-1, so it wasn’t that important.
“Obviously, I’d love to score the winning the goal at the weekend, but I just want to get the three points more than anything.
“I agree with the manager that it’s the most important game of the season because of where we can go in both ways – up or down.
“It will be a tough game and they’re a difficult team to play against, because they really put all their efforts in.
“We need to focus on controlling the game. We can’t let them change it from one half or the other.
“But we’ve shown we can control games, like we did in the first half against Man City.”
Borini shone in a central striker role at Wembley, in only the second time during his Sunderland loan spell that he had been asked to lead the line.
Poyet must decide whether to persist with Borini down the middle, move him back to the left flank or even use the Italian in an orthodox front two.
But the 22-year-old believes he can be influential wherever he plays, although he was pleased to make such an impact in his favoured central spot.
Borini added: “It’s given me the confidence that I can still play that role, even if I’ve been playing on the left most of the season.
“I’ve been satisfied with the way I’ve been playing.
“Yes, I’ve been used a left winger, but it’s a false position because I try to get more in the middle.
“I only do the left wing role defensively. It’s a matter of balance.
“It’s a pleasure for me to be praised the fans. I read Twitter and they’re obviously happy.
“I like to be dangerous every time I get the ball. That’s my kind of play.
“Physically, I’m feeling very good and in form, which is key.
“It’s obviously been good over the last few months and it has to be even better until the end of the season.
“We’ve got 12 games left and I hope to do more than what I’ve done before.”