Sunderland defender Denver Hume discusses Walsall win, Wembley and his comeback from injury
Sunderland defender Denver Hume knew the importance of Sunderland's victory over Walsall - especially after promotion rivals Barnsley dropped points at Doncaster on Friday night.
The Black Cats moved to within two points of the automatic promotion places after a 2-1 win over the Saddlers - and have a game in hand on the sides above them.
It was a good weekend all round for Sunderland after league leaders Luton were held to a 2-2 draw by Gillingham at Kenilworth Road.
After back-to-back draws with Wycombe and Barnsley, Sunderland didn't have it all their own way against Walsall at the Stadium of Light.
Jack Ross' side fell behind inside four minutes before goals from Lee Cattermole and Will Grigg completed the comeback.
"It's a great win for the lads," said Hume, who came off the bench to make his first senior appearance since September.
"Drawing through the week we needed to pick up three points today so it was a really positive result."
Hume also admitted the squad have been keeping an eye on their promotion rivals in recent weeks but haven't been distracted by other results.
"Obviously people are aware of what's going on but at the end of the day we just have to concentrate on us, pick up the three points and onto the next game.
Hume, 20, broke into the first team at the start of the campaign before suffering a detrimental knee injury at Coventry.
Yet the defender could now have the chance to reclaim a regular left-back spot, following injuries to Reece James and Adam Matthews.
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Hume replaced Matthews, who left the field with a hamstring issue, against Walsall on 67 minutes and was happy to get more minutes under his belt.
"I started the season well, played a few games then picked up the injury so I've kind of been playing catch up since," added Hume.
"Obviously I'm delighted to get back out there today and get some minutes."
Due to next week's international break, Sunderland will now turn their attentions to the Checkatrade Trophy final on March 31, and Hume hopes he can play a part at Wembley.
"It'll be great to be involved in that game whether I'm playing or watching but obviously we want to go there and try and win," added Hume, who's started two games in the Checkatrade Trophy this season.
In the next two weeks Sunderland's promotion rivals Barnsley will make the trip to Walsall before hosting Coventry, while the Black Cats won't play another league game until April 3 - away at Accrington Stanley.
It was therefore important for Sunderland to go into the break on a high and keep up the pressure on the sides above them.
"It was a massive three points," added Hume. "Drawing with Barnsley through the week, we really needed to get the win today.
"It was a tough game going 1-0 down so it was really important to pick up all three points."