Steven Fletcher has received a lot of stick from the Sunderland faithful over the past nine months. However, last Saturday the Scot appeared to regain the form he showed when he first signed in the summer 2012.
Having been injured for the majority of last season, Fletcher has struggled to find his goalscoring prowess. His brace against Stoke was the first time the striker had scored in nine months.
In many Sunderland fans eyes, the 27-year-old striker has under-performed since Gus Poyet took over and quite frankly hasn't looked interested.
His miss in the Capital One Cup final at Wembley was the final straw for a lot of the fans, however the Scot will be hoping that his brace on Saturday will preserve his Sunderland career and help the team safely avoid relegation this season.
Fletcher scored a total of 11 goals in 30 appearances for Sunderland in his debut season, however an injury picked up playing for Scotland in March ruled the striker out for the rest of the campaign.
Since then, the striker had only scored three goals in 26 appearances for the Black Cats until his double against Stoke, albeit most of his games were from the bench.
After being left out of the squad by Poyet, Fletcher had a lot to prove and he got his chance against the Potters and boy did he not waste it. His work-rate was impressive and he was rewarded with a brace and an assist for fellow strike partner Connor Wickham.
The Mackems will be hoping the striker can take his new found form into their next game at Southampton and help drive the club up the Premier League table.