Stead set for sub status

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Sunderland boss Mick McCarthy says wayward striker Jon Stead must take his opportunities from the substitutes' bench after a poor start to the season.

The 22-year-old has failed to find the net for The Black Cats since his summer move from Blackburn, and was dropped from the squad that ended the club's dismal winless streak against Middlesbrough last weekend.

McCarthy has so far favoured Andy Gray, often in a lone striker's role, and is also blessed with the attacking talents of Anthony Le Tallec and Stephen Elliot at The Stadium of Light.

Stead burst onto the Premiership scene with an impressive run of form after joining Blackburn from Huddersfield in 2004, and McCarthy says he must now be content to rebuild his reputation from the sidelines.

"Stead has come in and not scored his goals," said McCarthy.

"Now he has got to be ready, willing and able to play well when he comes off the bench."