Kovac hoping for positive result

Kovac was introduced as a second-half substitute for the injured

Valon Behrami in the weekend draw at the Britannia Stadium and the

30-year-old is now eyeing a place in the side at the Stadium of

Light. The former Spartak Moscow star is also eager to be involved

in the mouth-watering London derbies with Tottenham on Saturday and

Fulham on October 2. “It was good for us to get a point because it

was a very hard game,” said Kovac. “We have lost our last three

games, so to get a draw and not lose gives us a real boost. From

now, our confidence can get better and better and better. “I enjoy

the physical battle against Stoke every time, putting in challenges

and winning headers. “We go to Sunderland and we need to get a

result there to set us up well for Tottenham. We have two important

home games coming up and I hope to be in the starting line-up for

both of them. “I didn’t play in the last three games, but I felt

very good physically when I came on. This is because I have played

two full matches for the reserve team. It is very important that I

played these games. “The games I played at Leicester and Everton

were important for me because they enabled me to keep my

match-fitness. They were very good.”