Steven Fletcher’s positive reaction to Sunderland axe

DROPPED ... Fletcher.
DROPPED ... Fletcher.

STEVEN Fletcher has reacted positively to being left out against Spurs, insists Gus Poyet.

Scotland international Fletcher was dropped from both Sunderland’s starting XI and the match-day 18 last weekend after drawing a blank in the Black Cats’ opening three league games.

The best-case scenario for Fletcher, for this weekend’s trip to his former club Burnley, is likely to be a place on the bench at best after fellow frontman Jozy Altidore was preferred among the substitutes against Spurs.

But Fletcher will remain among Poyet’s plans, with the £12million man expected to be in contention for Tuesday’s Capital One Cup third round visit of Stoke.

Poyet said today: “Fletch has trained well, serious of course, not happy of course.

“But he’s trained really hard and wants to be part of it, which is great.

“It’s good for me. We’ve got three games coming up (inside a week) and everyone is important.

“All the time, I only look towards the next game, but we’ll look at Stoke after Burnley.”

Poyet had accommodated both Fletcher and fellow striker Connor Wickham in the side at the start of the season, with the latter operating in a wide role.

But with Wickham now operating centrally, Poyet is unsure whether either Fletcher or Altidore could be used in the same starting XI.

“We did it a little bit in pre-season with Connor wide,” added Poyet.

“But Connor did so well the other day, that my idea is to play him in the middle.

“Can Fletch or Jozy play wide, I’m not so sure. I think Connor is the one who adapts better.

“But Jozy was very important at West Brom because he gave us some power and presence.

“We’re going to use him and Fletch as well.

“It’s a decision that isn’t easy at the weekend, but I’m ready to make it.

“I’m just doing the best for the team.”