Sbragia expects Cisse spark
Ricky Sbragia has backed Djibril Cisse to help fire Sunderland to Premier League safety this season.
Last Updated: 21/04/09 1:04pm
Ricky Sbragia has backed Djibril Cisse to fire Sunderland to Premier League safety this season after rediscovering his touch in front of goal.
The Frenchman had gone seven games without troubling the scorers prior to his match-winning performance against Hull City on Saturday.
His solitary strike against the Tigers was enough to move the Black Cats above Phil Brown's men, four points clear of the drop zone.
With Kenwyne Jones also hitting the goal trail of late, the North East outfit have seen their two most potent attacking weapons deliver the goods at a crucial stage of the season.
"Kenwyne got the goal last week (in a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United) and we said to Djib it would just be a matter of time before he got one too," Sbragia said in the Northern Echo.
"Persevere, keep working and it'll come for you. He could go through a purple patch now. In general he was excellent on Saturday.
"He indicated he wanted to come off with 10 minutes to go because he had a slight injury, but I just asked him to stay on for me and keep working and he's done that. He's been rewarded with a goal as well."
Sbragia is now looking to Cisse and Jones to make a late surge up the Premier League goalscoring charts as Sunderland look to cement their top-flight standing.
"The front two are a handful when they're on their game. Kenwyne was good as well (on Saturday) and won a lot of balls in the air," added the Black Cats boss.
"There was a lot at stake. We tried to shield it from the players, but it was important we got the three points. We've now got a huge game to prepare for against West Brom."