CHARLIE WYKE is benefitting from a change in mindset and now the question is whether the Sunderland striker’s goals will deliver promotion this season.

Lee Johnson, the Black Cats head coach, certainly hopes and believes so, having worked with him for a couple of months and been hugely impressed.

Wyke has had his ups and downs since arriving from Bradford in August 2018 with a knee injury. While Jack Ross and Phil Parkinson clearly rated him, it is Johnson who is getting the best out of him. The challenge is for him to keep it up.

Twelve of Wyke’s 17 goals in League One this season have arrived since his first appearance under Johnson on December 12 at Lincoln City. He now tops the scoring charts, and has 21 goals in all competitions.

That means he is the first Sunderland player to reach the 20-mark since Darren Bent in 2010 following his four-goal blast against Doncaster – the first player to achieve the feat at the Stadium of Light.

Johnson said: “Charlie, I like him a lot as a lad, he is a great kid. We have worked and spoken a lot and that is important for a player like that, who has had his issues here and sometimes you have to iron those out.

“What he’s doing now is treating football like a business. That is what we need him to do. He is a passionate player, too passionate, but you can get too passionate. He is in a good place.

“We have had to tweak his mind-frame a little. When he is scoring goals that’s obvious. You can be more of a hero when you win the fans back - that’s when people respect you more.

“There are often reasons why you’re not playing as well as you can, that’s any player, not Charlie, be it niggles, missing chances, home life, or whatever. Over a period of time in this division Charlie is an excellent striker.”

Wyke’s first half hat-trick against Doncaster – the first by a Sunderland player since April 1999 when Kevin Phillips celebrated promotion at Bury – put Sunderland well on track for a much-needed victory.

His first arrived in the seventh minute when he nodded in Aiden McGeady’s corner. Five minutes later the Irish winger supplied the cross from the left for Wyke to head in number two.

Just after the half-hour mark, McGeady’s bit of magic created the space for another ball into the box for Wyke to nod Sunderland firmly in control.

After goalkeeper Lee Burge had helped Taylor Richards’ effort over the line after it had hit the post to give Doncaster hope seven minutes into the second half, Wyke completed the win with his fourth header from a McGeady delivery.

Johnson said: “I was the only one clapping when they came off, it would have been a standing ovation for sure (for Charlie and Aiden). We have good quality players. The standards have been set. We have not always matched them.”

Even when Sunderland went 4-1 up, Doncaster could have made a real fight of it because Burge made two penalty saves to deny Jon Taylor and Jason Lokilo.

Had those gone in then things could have got really interesting. Sunderland got the job done and moved up to sixth.

“We must not have that Sunderland self sabotage element,” said Johnson. ”We have to keep our cool on and off the pitch. There was so much quality on show. We need that Premier League mindset, we have players who can play above the level of League One, but sometimes that is where the sabotage sets in, whether that is mentally or physically."