Sunderland’s Larsson aims to score a goal

Sunderland's Sebastian Larsson
Sunderland's Sebastian Larsson

SEB LARSSON admits he needs to break his duck for the campaign despite finding himself in a deeper midfield role.

Larsson was Sunderland’s joint top scorer last season after netting eight times in all competitions - a total only matched by front pair Nicklas Bendtner and Stephane Sessegnon.

But in 15 Premier League starts this time around, the Swedish international has drawn a blank, although he did go close with an early effort on goal in Tuesday’s 3-0 victory over Reading.

Larsson played the bulk of last season in an advanced wide midfield role, whereas this time around, he has been regularly used in a deeper central position.

But the 27-year-old believes he could still be contributing with goals by getting into more threatening positions.

Larsson said: “It’s disappointing not being on the scoresheet yet and it’s something I have to put right.

“When I do go in the middle and sit back a little, you’re not going to get into the box as much. That’s fine, you accept that.

“But there have been times when I should have got forward a bit more, even when I’ve been on the right.”

Larsson began in central midfield against Reading before switching to the right after the break when Adam Johnson failed to re-emerge for the second half due to a dead leg.

The former Birmingham City man says he has to adapt his game to play in a central role, but insists he enjoys the fresh challenge, despite Sunderland’s struggles at the wrong end of the Premier League table.

“Obviously I’ve been playing in both positions this season,” he added.

“You enjoy your football when you win games and pick up points, not so much when you don’t.

“But I’ve still enjoyed playing in both positions.

“When I play in the middle, I know I have to be more effective and creative for the team.

“But when I play there, I tend to sit back a bit more and have that holding role.”