CONNOR Wickham says he is being urged to become more of a penalty box predator after helping himself to a derby double.
Wickham notched two tap-ins in Sunderland under-21s’ 2-2 draw at Newcastle United last night and could have helped himself to more as the Black Cats spurned a glut of chances to miss out on a first victory of the campaign.
The 19-year-old, who scored for England U21s last week, revealed Sunderland’s coaching staff have been urging him to spend more time in the penalty area as he bids to make the improvements necessary to force his way into Martin O’Neill’s first-team plans.
Wickham said: “I could have had about five, let alone a hat-trick.
“I haven’t played in a while, but it’s just nice to get on the scoresheet, even though they were less than a yard out.
“Every goal counts and I’m obviously disappointed not to score more.
“The last couple of weeks I’ve just been told to get in the box more and that’s what I did on both occasions. Thankfully it paid off and I stuck them away.
“I just need to work on my efforts from a bit further out!”