Confident Gillingham striker Vadaine Oliver has this message for Lee Johnson and his Sunderland squad

Gillingham striker Vadaine Oliver is confident his side have got what takes to get a result against Sunderland.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 3:38 pm

Oliver believes his side have got the players within their squad to cause Sunderland problems when the two side’s meet at the Priestfield Stadium this weekend.

The Black Cats return to League One action tomorrow after a double-header in the Papa John’s Trophy following last weekend's postponed league fixture with Oxford United.

Lee Johnson’s side secured their passage into the knock-out stages of the Papa John’s Trophy with their midweek win over Manchester United’s U21’s but the Sunderland head coach will be hoping they can bounce back from a heavy defeat on the south coast last time out in the league after going down 4-0 at Portsmouth.

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Gillingham striker confident his side have what it takes against Sunderland (Photo by James Chance/Getty Images)

It was just the Black Cats second defeat of the season, and a result which knocked them off the top of the League One table with the Wearsiders slipping down to fourth after last weekend’s inactivity.

And they head to face a Gillingham side who they have struggled against in recent meetings since dropping down to the third tier in 2018.

Johnson’s side have won just one of the last six encounters with the Gills and Oliver is relishing the prospect of extending Sunderland’s difficult run against his side.

“We know it will be tough,” he said.

“They are a tough opposition and a good side, but so are we. We have got the right players to cause Sunderland a problem.

“They have a team that have gelled well this year so we will have to be on our game to keep them quiet.

“It’s games like this that you look forward to after the loss at the weekend. We are ready for this one, and hopefully this is the game that gives us that boost.

“It’s been a tough start to the season but we have a good squad here,” the striker added.

"Once we get that good result, you will see us go on a run. We need to come together and give it everything.”

Oliver is a key figure at the Priestfield for Steve Evans’ side after a blistering end to last season saw the 29-year-old score 12 goals in the final 15 games of the campaign.

But while the Englishman hasn't quite carried that rich vein of form into this season, the striker has still notched five times in 14 games across all competitions.

And that would have been six had it not been for a missed penalty last time out against League One’s joint leaders Wycombe Wanderers, with the striker keen to make amends against the Black Cats.

“You have those days,” he said.

“But I’ve been fortunate that I haven’t had many of those since I’ve been at Gills.

“If I had scored, then it would have been one goal every two games, so it’s a positive start.

“I want to do even better than I did last year for the club. Hopefully I can get a couple of goals to make up for the one I missed last weekend.

“If we get another penalty, I’ll be stepping up with confidence.”

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