Sunderland news

Johnson: Graham can find scoring boots

March 27, 2013
By ESPN staff

Danny Graham can find the goalscoring form to help Sunderland get over the loss of Steven Fletcher for the rest of the season, winger Adam Johnson has said.

Danny Graham Sunderland thumbs up
GettyImagesDanny Graham has been boosted by Di Canio's emphasis on attack

Graham, 27, joined the club from Swansea during the January transfer window but has yet to find the target.

The pressure is on him to start scoring goals for Martin O'Neill's side, who are four points above the relegation zone with eight games remaining, after 11-goal Fletcher was ruled out with an ankle injury sustained while playing for Scotland against Wales.

"I think Danny is a couple of games away from getting a good run,'' Johnson told Sky Sports News.

"It's important someone gets the goals with Fletch missing, because we haven't scored that many or created many chances. When we get them, it's important to put them away.

"Fletch has proved himself this season. Without his goals, we would be in a lot worse position. He's going to be a big miss for us.

"I think it's important for the whole team to step up now and put the performances in we know we are capable of."

Sunderland face Premier League leaders Manchester United at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

They suffered a further injury blow when skipper Lee Cattermole was also ruled out for the rest of the season after undergoing ankle surgery.

A Sunderland statement said: "Cattermole underwent an operation on his knee and Fletcher sustained ankle ligament damage whilst on international duty with Scotland.

"Both players will play no further part in the Black Cats' 2012-13 Barclays Premier League season.''