THERE is no secret to Sunderland’s success of late other than old-fashioned work on the training pitch, says striker Charlie Wyke.

He netted the second in Saturday’s convincing 3-0 win against Bristol Rovers, taking his league tally for the season to five as the team continued their top form.

They have won nine of their last 12 games to rise to fourth, keeping eight clean sheets in nine games with the previously unpopular Phil Parkinson overseeing a drastic turnaround in fortunes since the team were 15th in the table at Christmas.

“I just think we've got a shape - in training we get drilled into us what we need to do and we look at the opposition a lot,” said Teessider Wyke.

“He just drills into it what we need to do and how hard we need to work.

“I think we're a lot fitter now and it's showing on the pitch.

“We're doing well at home and picking up wins away, so long may it continue.

“We all said when we were having that bad spell that we were right behind him, he's been fantastic with us and I'm glad things have changed. We're playing good football and getting results.”

Wyke has now scored 11 goals in Sunderland colours, four of them since December 14, and he added: “I've been in the office a few times with the gaffer and we've looked at how he wants me to play and where he wants me to be.

“Obviously, I haven't scored as many as I would have liked but I think I'm working hard off the ball and the shape of the team is working really well for us.

“I need to drop in and sit on the centre midfielders sometimes. It is hard work and different to what I've been used to, but I'm really enjoying it and I've just got to keep doing it.

“You can't play well every week, but I know the gaffer likes me as a player and I've just got to keep adding something for the team.

“I think the front three are playing well together but even when someone else comes on, everyone knows what we need to do and it's really enjoyable.

“Since I've been here it's been stop-start but this has been my longest run of starts.

“I'm enjoying my football, I feel as fit as I have for a few years and hopefully it will continue.”

Wyke’s goal, two minutes after Lynden Gooch had opened the scoring, put Sunderland in the driving seat, and it came after he successfully took the ball around Bristol Rovers goalkeeper Jamal Blackman when one-on-one.

He said: “It was a good feeling to score and obviously a great result.

“Those ones [where you have time to think] are not nice. I looked back and had the whole half to myself.

“I had a lot of time and he's a big lad as well the keeper, so I thought if I don't knock it far enough, he might be able to hook it away, but thankfully I got it round him.

“I was glad to get a goal and hopefully I'll grab a few more between now and the end of the season.

“Everyone is playing well, for each other, we're a team and we're all enjoying it.

“We've got a good squad and you can see that from the lads coming off the bench and doing well.”