Michael Turner confident Sunderland can kickstart season

Sunderland's Michael Turner (right) and Fulham's Moussa Dembele battle for the ball.
Sunderland's Michael Turner (right) and Fulham's Moussa Dembele battle for the ball.
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MICHAEL Turner is confident Sunderland still boast sufficient goal threat to move away from the doldrums despite a second successive blank.

Steve Bruce’s side hit the woodwork twice within the opening 16 minutes in Saturday’s stalemate with Fulham, but then struggled to find any penetration as the mundane encounter petered out to an inevitable conclusion.

The loss of injured frontman Connor Wickham has not helped Sunderland’s cause, with Bruce’s attacking re-shuffle not providing sufficient service to strike pair Nicklas Bendtner and Stephane Sessegnon.

But after failing to find the net at Manchester United and against the Cottagers, centre-half Turner maintains his belief that the Black Cats have sufficient ammunition to get the better of basement boys Wigan at the Stadium of Light next weekend.

Turner told the Echo: “We just needed someone to pull out a bit of magic on Saturday, but it didn’t happen.

“But we still believe we can create chances and score goals.

“We’ve shown this season that we can score goals and we need to concentrate on what we’re good at and how we’re going to get them.

“It’s a blow losing Connor after he was just finding his feet and we were starting to see how good he’ll be. It’s part of the game that players get injured though and we’ll have to move on.

“The two chances we had early on, hitting the woodwork, they were two of our best chances. Sometimes when they don’t go in, you think it might not be your day.

“We didn’t create as many chances in the second half as we would have liked. But we’ll take the clean sheet and move on.”

Turner, who needed three stitches to a cut to his nose during the second half, admits Sunderland headed into the first of four games against teams in the bottom half confident of securing just a third win of the season.

A solitary point puts the heat on Saturday’s clash with Wigan, who ended a run of eight successive defeats by drawing with struggling neighbours Blackburn.

“There’s probably a bit more pressure on the Wigan game now,” added Turner. “But we haven’t been beaten and we’ll need to go and win that.

“We were pleased to keep a clean sheet, but before the game we wanted to win and we’re disappointed that we didn’t make one of our chances count.

“People have made a lot of these four games and thinking we should be winning them all. But they’re all tough, it doesn’t matter who you’re playing home and away, it’s tough in the Premier League.

“Fulham have got some experienced players and I thought we slightly edged it and deserved to win. But we didn’t do and we need to keep cracking on.”