Sunderland’s Fraizer Campbell fights for full fitness

ENGLAND CHANCE ... Sunderland striker Fraizer Campbell.
ENGLAND CHANCE ... Sunderland striker Fraizer Campbell.
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FRAIZER Campbell admits he is still struggling to complete 90 minutes as he prepares for a second game in four days tonight.

Campbell has started Sunderland’s last two outings in place of the suspended Stephane Sessegnon and is expected to keep his place for the final game of the Benin international’s ban at Blackburn Rovers tonight.

But the England international says he is yet to reach full match fitness after being substituted 15 minutes before time against Liverpool 10 days ago and Everton last weekend.

Campbell is still to complete a full game since returning from his 17-month injury lay-off, although the striker believes every opportunity provides a boost in his attempts to last the pace.

The 24-year-old told the Echo: “It’s still difficult for me because I’ve not played 90 minutes consistently since I’ve been back.

“It’s quite hard for me in the latter stages of the game to continue, due to the type of player I am.

“But hopefully I can get that match fitness before the end of the season.

“Nicklas Bendtner’s a good player to play alongside and I think we’ve done well together against Everton and Liverpool.

“The team’s playing well from the starting XI right through to the squad players. Everyone’s digging deep and enjoying the momentum we’ve got.”

The trip to Ewood Park marks the start of the season’s final 10 games, as Sunderland look to register more than the 10 points which would see them equal last year’s tally. But they face a Blackburn side which has taken seven points from their last four games.

Campbell is well aware of Blackburn’s Jekyll and Hyde nature – Steve Kean’s men scoring more goals than any side outside the top six, but boasting the second-worst defensive record in the top flight.

“We’ve played a lot of the big teams now so most of the teams we’re facing are either around us or below us so we’ve got to fancy our chances a bit,” added Campbell.

“We’ll definitely hope to beat last season’s total. But you can’t look at where you’re going to be, otherwise you’ll slip up.

“There’s no easy games in the Premier League these days and we’ve got to be fresh in time for tonight’s game.

“It’s really tight at the bottom and it’s good that we’ve been able to stay away from that.

“There’s a lot of teams down there who are fighting for survival.

“Blackburn seem to have these spurts of scoring loads in one game and conceding loads in the next.

“It’s hit and miss to see what type of team we’ll face tonight.

“Without doubt, they’ve got some good players there, it’s just finding that consistency.”