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Sessegnon needs more ammunition, says Colback
STEPHANE Sessegnon's underwhelming start to the season continued on Saturday, but team-mate Jack Colback claims the rest of the Sunderland squad have to do more to get the striker firing.
Sessegnon did not record a single attempt at goal as the Black Cats lost 3-0 at Manchester City, and is still searching for his first goal of the season despite making eight starts in all competitions.
The Benin international, who was linked with a possible move away from the Stadium of Light in the summer, has been a pale imitation of the flamboyant forward who was responsible for so much of Sunderland's attacking threat last season.
But Colback claims it is wrong to judge Sessegnon's efforts when he has received such limited support from the rest of the players around him.
“Sess was magnificent last year,” said the Sunderland midfielder. “I thought for a lot of the season that he carried us a bit if I'm honest. On his day, he is a fantastic player, something he has shown for us lots of times.
“We just need to get him in the game a bit more – and not just him, we need to get more of the ball to (Steven) Fletcher, (James) McClean and (Adam) Johnson so we can use the threatening part of our game a bit more. We haven't done that enough.
“It's everyone's responsibility to feed the ball in to Stephane. He gets himself out of some impossible situations sometimes, when you don't expect him to get out, but we need to give him better service so he can go on and make things happen.”
Sunderland's creative options could increase later this week if free agent James McFadden agrees a short-term deal.
The former Scotland international has been training with the Black Cats for more than a fortnight, and Martin O'Neill will meet with his representatives in the next 48 hours to discuss a contract offer.
“Nothing's really changed at this minute, but I'm hoping to sit down with his people in the early part of the week,” confirmed the Sunderland boss. “We'll see what happens from there.”
O'Neill watched his side slip to their first defeat of the season at the weekend, but while the reverse leaves the Wearsiders in the bottom half of the table ahead of the much-anticipated Wear-Tyne derby with Newcastle in 13 days time, there is still a degree of satisfaction with Sunderland's start.
“We've only lost once, so that's not bad,” said Colback. “We had three away games right at the start and took points from all of them, although we did take the lead in all of them and only took a point.
“That's why I think we're a little disappointed with the way things have gone in terms of drawing matches. But it's been an okay start to the season and the boys are still upbeat.”
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