Sunderland striker ready to turn tables on Arsenal

Fraizer Campbell
Fraizer Campbell
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FRAIZER Campbell believes Sunderland can go on the front foot when the roles are reversed against Arsenal tomorrow.

Sunderland frustrated the Gunners in the Premier League last weekend when they sat deep and hit the visitors on the break, with the ploy working successfully until the final 15 minutes when the exertions of the Black Cats’ extra-time success at Middlesbrough took their toll.

But with the Wearsiders benefiting from a seven-day rest and Arsenal humiliated by Milan in the midweek Champions League clash, striker Campbell says Sunderland can adopt a more attacking approach when the two sides meet again in tomorrow’s televised FA Cup fifth round tussle.

Campbell told the Echo: “It will be a totally different game this time round.

“We will be able to express ourselves more.

“I think that the extra-time we played on the Wednesday night at Middlesbrough caught up with us towards the end of the Arsenal game.

“But this time Arsenal have played in Milan on Wednesday so they will feel like we did last weekend after we had played just a couple of days previously.

“We’ve played a lot of games. We’ve played two games every week for the last few weeks, so it was nice to get a couple of days off to go home and recharge.”

Campbell made his third start since returning from a 17-month knee injury lay-off last weekend and he admits adrenaline alone is no longer getting him through games after scoring in both of his first two appearances of the season.

But after playing more than 80 minutes in each of Sunderland’s last two games, the 24-year-old believes he is getting up to scratch with the physical demands of life back in the Black Cats starting XI.

“To score in my comeback game was a dream return for me – I couldn’t have written a better story,” added the former Manchester United man.

“I think I’ve just been running on adrenaline up to now to be honest, trying hard to impress.

“I’ve had no reaction from the knee at all, but I do feel it in my calves at the end of games. The muscles tighten up because I haven’t been used to running so far.

“I was limping a bit towards the end of the Arsenal game last weekend but that was just a touch of cramp, because the pitch was quite heavy to play on and we had to do a lot of chasing.”