Connor Wickham hoping to impress Sunderland boss Gus Poyet
Connor Wickham aims to convince Sunderland boss Gus Poyet that he should be a first-choice striker next season.
Last Updated: 03/06/14 12:57pm
The England Under-21 international returned to the Stadium of Light from a loan spell at Leeds United to play a vital role as Sunderland escaped relegation from the Premier League at the end of last season.
Wickham, who joined the Black Cats in an £8.1m move from Ipswich in June 2011, scored five goals in three games to help secure a draw at Manchester City and vital victories over Chelsea and Cardiff.
He told the Sunderland Echo: "The aim is to be the main striker next season.
"I won't think about it until I start doing my own training. I'll take a break, switch off, relax and have a bit of chill-out time.
"Then I'll start doing my training and start thinking about it. I'll make sure I do the right training and make sure I put myself in the manager's thoughts when we come back."
Poyet has decisions to make over his strike-force with Steven Fletcher having been limited by injury last season, summer signing Jozy Altidore struggling to make his mark and Fabio Borini, who played much of the last campaign as a wide midfielder, having returned to parent club Liverpool after a successful loan spell.
Wickham made just 18 appearances for the Black Cats but is intent on cementing his place in manager Gus Poyet's plans for next season.
He said: "There's a lot of competition for places, particularly as Fletcher is going to come back. Obviously Fabio won't be here, but it's down to me and what I can do.
"I've just got to be better than anyone in my position. At the end of the day, the competition makes it interesting."