Sunderland owner Stewart Donald sets target ahead of Southend United clash at Stadium of Light

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Sunderland return to league action at the Stadium of Light this weekend after three League One games on the road.

And owner Stewart Donald is hoping for a bumper crowd to cheer on in-form Sunderland, who are targeting their fourth straight win.

Sunderland owner Stewart Donald in the stands at Doncaster Rovers.

Sunderland owner Stewart Donald in the stands at Doncaster Rovers.

So far, more than 28,000 tickets - including season ticket sales - have been bought ahead of the weekend and Donald is hoping for a crowd as close to 35,000 as possible.

The biggest crowd at the Stadium of Light so far this season is the 32,193 that turned up for the Oxford United game.

On the back of a good run of recent form, Donald would like to see that figure beaten.

In recent away games, Sunderland have beaten Bradford City 2-1, Shrewsbury Town 2-0 and Doncaster Rovers 1-0 to see the Black Cats go within five points of the top of League One.

Sunderland owner Stewart Donald had this message for the fans.

Sunderland owner Stewart Donald had this message for the fans.

Ahead of the game, Donald tweeted: "On the back of 3 str8 away wins and the lads doing their very best & giving their all 4 the club can 7k more turn up & help us keep pushing forward.

"We need you all! Ur support and backing is absolutely vital. #inittogether"