Fitness first, dreams of Wembley second for Ignacio Scocco

Even as an Argentinian, Sunderland new-boy Ignacio Scocco regards Wembley as special, but he knows he must build his fitness to get there

Action Images / Lee Smith Sunderland's Ignacio Scocco
Sunderlands' Ignacio Scocco

Ignacio Scocco is excited about the idea of playing at Wembley but the Argentinian’s top priority is to build up his match-fitness to give himself a chance.

Sunderland are due there a week on Sunday to play Manchester City in the League Cup final. Beat Brighton and Hove Albion or Hull City in the FA Cup quarter-finals and they will return on the weekend of April 12/13.

After making his Black Cats debut in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Southampton , Scocco is looking forward to the prospect but knows he must first concentrate on more mundane matters.

“Wembley to me, even for me, is special,” said the striker. “It will be the most important game when there is a cup at the end. But right now it is going week to week. The Arsenal game is next and that is the most important.”

Scocco’s 68-minute run-out was his first since November 10. Since joining from Internacional in the final week of January he has been an unused substitute against Newcastle United , and did not make the bench against Hull City. He knows, then, he needs to build his sharpness.

“I am getting fitter all the time,” he said. “I had to show the manager I am sharp and I am ready. I have had two months without a competitive game, he needed to see that I could play. Playing 70 minutes has helped me to show the manager what I can do.

“I enjoyed it. It was important for me to build up my fitness. It was also important to win. Everyone knew we didn’t want a replay.

“We are still unbeaten in both cups and through to the quarter-finals.

“Like everyone else, I want to play at Wembley. There’s a lot of competition, a lot of big players here. I will do everything I can do be involved in that ( League Cup final) game, which is special.”

Scocco seems comfortable in his surroundings and although used in a front two at the weekend, he is an adaptable forward.

“I can play anywhere across the attacking line,” he said. “But I like to play more through the middle, where I feel I am at my best.

“I have liked working with Gus Poyet so far, he has been very good for me. I have spoken to him many times, he has told me how I needed to catch up with everyone else.

“It has helped having two other Argentinians in Santiago (Vergini) and Oscar (Ustari). This was important to settle in and for my confidence. It will help us to learn English faster.”


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