Sunderland: Fletcher-Wickham pairing impresses O'Neill

Steven Fletcher and Connor Wickham

Martin O'Neill has suggested Connor Wickham could become a regular foil to Steven Fletcher up front after their combination helped

Wickham came off the bench to score in the second-half and offered support to lone front-man Fletcher as the Wearsiders fought back from 2-0 down.

"It looks as if they can play together," O'Neill said.

"It was a great contribution. It was good for Wickham to get the goal."

He added: "It's a great confidence booster for Connor. It's probably the first time he's been on the field at the same time as Steven Fletcher."

Fletcher has largely operated as a lone striker this season, with Benin international Stephane Sessegnon playing "off the striker" in a floating role.

England under-21 cap Wickham initially appeared out of favour, waiting until November for his first outing of the campaign, but has since established himself as deputy to the Scotland international with a further five appearances.

Meanwhile, O'Neill has hinted at activity during the January transfer window, after two further injuries to first-team players at the Reebok Stadium.

Key players Lee Cattermole, John O'Shea and long-term absentee Wes Brown are among the senior professionals out of action, forcing the Black Cats to name just six substitutes from a possible seven.

"It's not a point whatsoever [the six substitutes]. It's just the way things fell," O'Neill added.

"We have a couple of illnesses and injuries to players, we don't have the biggest squad and we're really stretched.

"We've obviously lost a couple more [Danny Rose and Carlos Cuellar] but we're going to try and do something about it if we can - well, not if we can - we need to.

"I think I get on reasonably OK with the owner, he's well aware and he wants to do something about it."