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Pienaar signs with Wits


Wickham faces delay on loan decision

Connor Wickham has been forced to wait to find out if his loan spell will be extended at Sheffield Wednesday.

Connor Wickham joined Sunderland from Ipswich Town in the summer of 2011
Connor Wickham has struggled to break into the Sunderland team

Wickham, 19, joined the club on a one-month loan deal from Sunderland in a bid to secure first-team football and continue his development.

After the striker netted his first goal for the Championship side during their win over Leicester on Saturday, manager Dave Jones reiterated his desire to keep Wickham at the club for the rest of the season.

“That was the last game of his loan,” he said. “We hope to keep him and will talk to Sunderland.”

An England Under-21 international, the former Ipswich Town player has scored just once in the Premier League since joining the Black Cats for an initial £8.1 million in 2011.

Relishing the chance of playing consistent first-team football, Wickham admitted to enjoying life at Hillsborough.

“I’m really enjoying myself, but it’s down to the clubs now and what will be will be,” he told Wednesday’s official website. “I’m playing games here and really enjoying myself and the gaffer has a lot of faith in me. I’ve played a lot of football since I’ve been here and I’m thankful for that. A decision will be made but I am happy to be here.”

Wickham added: “I haven’t scored in a while, so I didn’t know what to do after I did! But, as soon as the ball came down, I knew I was going to take it first time. I just aimed to get it on target and I don’t think there was much the ‘keeper could do. He nearly stopped it, but there was just a bit too much power on it. Thankfully it went in and I scored my first goal for the club and I’m grateful it turned out to be the winning one.”

With just three recognised strikers in the Sunderland first-team squad, manager Martin O’Neill may be tempted to keep Wickham in a bid to bolster his attacking options ahead of the visit of Norwich on Sunday.


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