Jack Ross reveals the key tactical influence Charlie Wyke is having on Sunderland side
Charlie Wyke endured a difficult start to life at Sunderland with injuries hampering his impact last season.
But he is proving a key asset for the Black Cats this campaign, with Sunderland extending their winning run to four games with the 3-1 victory over AFC Wimbledon.
Hat-trick hero Chris Maguire will grab the headlines but Wyke’s growing influence on this side cannot be underestimated, with Jack Ross keen to ensure Sunderland continue to get bodies playing off him and using his physical presence and quality to good effect.
Reflecting on Wyke’s contribution, Ross said: “We brought Charlie to the club for a reason and last year was difficult for him injury-wise.
“But when you have him in the right state of mind and his body feels right, he is very effective because he gives us that option of getting forward quicker, which sometimes you need to do at all levels of the game.
“The first goal was an example of that - Grant came short for the ball and it was only a kick from Jon but it was Charlie’s physical presence enabled us to create something out of nothing.
“His presence and quality then allows us to get players up close to him.
“We are good in the final third, we have a lot of good attacking players and also our midfielders and full backs are good in that area of the pitch too, it is about making sure we have enough possession in that area too.”
The former Bradford City striker already has two goals to his name and looking to build on his impressive early form.
Wyke, who became a father this month, added: “I had a tough season last year and the injuries I had meant I not only missed a lot of football but I couldn’t affect the game the way I wanted when I was playing.
“Now, I feel like I’m in a really good place and I just want to play as many games as I can to help the team achieve promotion.”