Stuart Pearce: 'Connor Wickham enjoyed U21 run-out'

Pearce: 'Wickham enjoyed U21 run-out'
© PA Photos
Stuart Pearce praises out-of-favour Sunderland striker Connor Wickham for his England Under-21 display.

England Under-21s Stuart Pearce has admitted that it was pleasing to see Connor Wickham enjoying his football again amid the striker's discontent at Sunderland.

Wickham was among the goals as Pearce's youngsters defeated Northern Ireland 2-0 in a friendly hosted at Blackpool's Bloomfield Road.

It was the first time that the 19-year-old has found the net this season, with injury and selection issues having limited him to one substitute appearance for the Black Cats in 2012.

Pearce said: "He did well at Ipswich and obviously he got his move and then it has been a little bit start-stop for him at Sunderland.

"He is not playing regularly and we need to make sure we supplement his confidence and fitness but he looks as though he is enjoying himself out there.

"I see his demeanour around the place and he is enjoying meeting up with us. I was very pleased with the way we played."

Wickham has been linked with a loan return to former club Ipswich Town, whom he left to join Sunderland in an £8m deal last summer.

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