Louis Saha is determined his first Sunderland goal will be an important one as he prepares to face his former club Everton at the weekend.

The 34-year-old Frenchman heads for Goodison on Saturday still awaiting his opening strike for the Black Cats.

He does so with Martin O'Neill's men desperately short of confidence and having managed only one Barclays Premier League victory in 17 attempts dating back to March.

However, while desperate to break his duck, Saha will only be happy if his maiden goal in a red and white shirt results in a tangible reward for his team.

He told the Sunderland Echo: "You always work hard for that first goal and the pressure is off when you get it.

"But you want to make sure you get when it's the right moment. You don't want to score when you're 3-0 down and you don't need it."

Saturday's 1-0 home defeat by Aston Villa left the Black Cats still searching for just their second league win of the campaign and sliding inexorably down the table.

O'Neill remains confident his side will start to fire soon, but the fact remains they mustered only one shot on target at the weekend, and that from midfielder Lee Cattermole 84 minutes into the game.

Saha said: "You always want to do more and I think the team can do it and as a player, I think I can do more as well.

"When you're drawing many games, you always expect more because we are here to win games. But we are training to improve.

"We have done okay, but the fans can ask more because they see things.

"But football is a difficult job and I really think we are close to winning games."