STEPHANE Sessegnon admits he has received a major confidence boost from ending his eight-month goal drought.
Sessegnon grabbed his first goal since March in Sunderland’s victory at Fulham 10 days ago and netted his second in as many games in Saturday’s 4-2 defeat against West Brom.
The Benin international endured a troubled start to the season after an injury-hit pre-season and a summer dominated by speculation over his future.
But Sessegnon concedes the stunning strike at Craven Cottage was a welcome tonic after returning to the form which saw him romp to Sunderland’s Player of the Season title last year, against the Baggies.
Sessegnon told the Gazette: “It’s good to get a couple of goals, and I’d like to continue in that pattern.
“But at the same time, it would be much better to have scored a goal when we got a win or something out of the game.
“The goal at Fulham was important for my confidence as I hadn’t scored for a while.
“My levels at the start of the season were not what I’d have liked, as I said.
“So it’s been nice to get on the scoresheet again.”
While Sessegnon’s confidence is soaring, Sunderland keeper Simon Mignolet cannot say the same after the Belgian’s howler gifted West Brom a crucial second goal on Saturday.
But Sessegnon believes Mignolet will shake off his error for tonight’s crunch Stadium of Light clash against basement boys QPR and return to the form which has seen him out-shine his team-mates this season.
“It’s unfortunate for Simon because he’s done so many good things for us this season,” said Sessegnon.
“He’s probably been our best player since the start of the season.
“But those things happen. Even the best goalkeepers make mistakes.
“I’m confident that when the match comes around, we’ll again see Simon’s qualities.”
Sessegnon insists Sunderland must remain positive tonight, despite the defeat against the third-placed Baggies.
It was the second time in three Premier League games when the Black Cats have lost despite an encouraging performance and they now face a QPR side buoyed by the arrival of new boss Harry Redknapp.
“Twice in the last three games we could have won, and we need to make sure we do tonight,” added the 28-year-old.
“We’ve just got to try to keep our confidence up because it is an important match. We need to keep playing to those levels.
“I think we deserved something out of the game after creating the chances.
“But unfortunately you don’t always get that in football.”