Kieran Richardson claims Sunderland are a better team without former talisman

Kieran Richardson insisted that former hit-man Darren Bent has been easily replaced, and claims that Sunderland’s goal tally proves so.

Goals from Stephane Sessegnon and Connor Wickham secured a 2-2 draw with Bent’s current employers Aston Villa, taking the Black Cats’ total to 14 from the opening 10 games; which if five more than they had scored at the same stage of last year’s campaign.

Bent scored six of Sunderland’s first nine goals last season, but following his January move, Richardson is of the belief that they are no longer a one man team and share the responsibility for goals and play better football.

The left-back told the Shields Gazette: “Bent always played on the shoulder and tried to get in behind.
“(Nicklas) Bendtner and Connor have given us something different though. We have scored more this season at a similar stage and it shows we have replaced Bent.

“Last season it was more about Bent scoring all the goals, this season everyone is chipping in. That’s great for the confidence of the whole team, not just one man.
“We want to get our strikers scoring more goals than the rest of the lads, but it’s good that they are shared out.”

£8.1 million signing from Ipswich, Connor Wickham made only his second Premier League start at the weekend, with the 18-year-old wasting no time to net his first league goal with a top-class left-footed strike.

Richardson added: “Stepping up from the Championship is a bit different. He has worked hard in training and got stronger by the day. I’m sure he will score many goals in the Premier League.
“He has everything. As long he keeps his head down and listens to the manager, I’m sure he will progress.

“(His strength) showed out there. He already has people bouncing off him.”

Adam is now an online veteran of publishing and has experience across all the leagues. A Liverpool fan since he was a child, Adam brings you all the latest gossip from Anfield, good or bad!

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