Sessegnon on the up – Black

The Black Cats kicked off the new season with a new look formation

that was built around the talented Frenchman and expected to see

the best of the 27-year-old. However, Sunderland’s 4-4-1-1

formation with Sessegnon supporting a lone striker failed to

deliver and the former Paris Saint German consequently lost

confidence. Breaking point came for manager Steve Bruce in last

month’s 2-1 defeat at Norwich City in which Sessegnon struggled.

Black is at a loss as to why things did not work out, however, he

has been delighted with Sessegnon performances after he was

reverted back to a more orthodox role within the team. “Stephane is

a player of such quality that we started the season with a system

designed around him,” Black told the Sunderland Echo. “The 4-4-1-1

formation, with Stephane playing just behind the main striker,

should have brought the best out of him. “We were looking to get

the ball to him as much as possible and give him the chance to turn

and run at defences, which is one of his strengths. “But,

unfortunately, that system coincided with a dip in Stephane’s form

and, for whatever reason, it hasn’t worked as we would have liked –

maybe he lost a bit of form or confidence, maybe the team didn’t

gel as we would have hoped but, on all indicators, his stats were

down from where they were last season. “The Norwich defeat was when

we knew we had to look at it again because when you’re feeling good

and confident you don’t play like that. You don’t just instantly go

for goal every time, you have the confidence to take things on.

“For the West Brom game, we looked to push him forward into a more

orthodox position so that not everything had to go through him, and

he looked far more comfortable and far more like his natural self

in that role.”