Marcus may be on bench for Town clash

MARCUS Stewart may have to settle for a place on the bench for Sunderland when they entertain his former club Ipswich Town on Sunday, writes Derek Davis.

MARCUS Stewart may have to settle for a place on the bench for Sunderland when they entertain his former club Ipswich Town on Sunday, writes Derek Davis.

The misfiring striker has gone nine games without a goal since netting a hat-trick at Gillingham in September, which took his tally for the season to six.

His failure to find the net recently has seen Black Cats fans calling for local lad Michael Bridges to partner Irish striker Stephen Elliott up front.

Stewart thought he was going to be dropped last weekend at Leicester, where Sunderland managed a 1-0 win.


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He said: "It was a bit of a shock when I found out I was starting against Leicester as I was preparing myself not to play.

"I'd not scored for eight games before that and now it's nine. There are players waiting for their chance and I could not put up much of an argument if I was dropped."

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Stewart, who turned 32 earlier this month, hopes he can kick-start his goal run against the Blues who he left for the Stadium of Light a couple of days before the August transfer deadline in 2002. He feels Town's attacking style of football could suit him.

He said: "Ipswich have won four in a row and are flying.

"We need to peg them back and I'd love to get a goal but the main thing is three points.

"I'm expecting a different type of game to we usually get at the Stadium of Light. Ipswich will come and attack us."

Never one to be short of confidence, Stewart believes once he gets one goal the dam will open.

He said: "I'm just getting on with it and I know there's a goal in me soon. Once that happens I'm confident of going on a run. That's what happens with strikers. This is probably the worst run of my career and hopefully I'll come through it soon.

"I feel that my general play is quite good but when it comes to strikers, it's about scoring goals - I know that."

Sunderland have won five and lost just one of their past eight games and will close the gap with second-placed Ipswich to two points if they can win on Sunday, in the live televised game, which kicks off at 1pm.

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