Charlie Wyke was left delighted on Saturday as he waved goodbye to his injury woes and marked his return to action with a debut goal.
The striker, who joined the club in July from Sky Bet League One side Bradford City, has been sidelined since the Bantam’s opening pre-season match.
But since joining Sunderland he was worked his way back to fitness, with Jack Ross admitting he was forced to use the 25-year-old slightly earlier than planned.
Wyke, though, repaid the manager almost immediately as just seven minutes into his debut he racked up his first goal in red and white, calmly touching home Lynden Gooch’s drilled strike to earn 10-man Sunderland a point against Oxford United.
“It is obviously a good debut for me I could’ve played better but it was my first game in three or four months,” Wyke told safc.com.
“There was a bit of rustiness but it’s good to get that out of the way and thankfully it is a good start for me.
“It is definitely my goal, there have been a few questions in the changing room but Goochie (Lynden Gooch) has stuck up for me and said it was mine. I got a faint touch and I was just happy to see it go in.
“You get those kinds of games in this league. It’s not always pretty but we got a point, we battled away, it wasn’t the best performance but it’s another point on the board and it continues this unbeaten start to the season.”
He continued: “Everyone at the club is brilliant, the lads in the changing room are a brilliant set of lads, I’ve been made to feel so welcome, so I feel like I’ve fitted in straight away and that’s showed on Saturday on the pitch.”