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Reece James ad­mits it was an­other frus­trat­ing af­ter­noon for Sun­der­land as their lead was pegged back for the sec­ond week in suc­ces­sion.

Af­ter a chal­leng­ing start the Black Cats took the lead against Lu­ton Town but like Charl­ton Ath­letic, the vis­i­tors res­cued a point in the sec­ond half.

Sun­der­land re­main very well placed in the push for aut­moatic pro­mo­tion, a point be­hind the Hat­ters with a game in hand, and the 25-year-old says his team­mates ‘must keep plug­ging away’.

“The first ten, 15 min­utes they made it very dif­fi­cult for us,” James said. “They started well, re­ally bright.

“They put us un­der pres­sure but once we set­tled in we cre­ated some good chances and I thought we could have been more than one up.

“But then Jon in goal has made some fan­tas­tic saves.

“I don’t think it was too bad a point but we have to turn some of these draws into wins, es­pe­cially when we go a goal up.

“We’ve just got to keep plug­ging away. Things just haven’t quite dropped for us, there’s been some ric­o­chets to­day even that just haven’t dropped in the right place.

“We’ve got to keep go­ing and hope­fully some luck will fall our way in the next few games.”

Like his man­ager Jack Ross and over 30,000 Sun­der­land fans in the ground, James was left baf­fled and frus­tated by Lee Probert’s de­ci­sion to award a sec­ond half penalty.

Tom Flana­gan was ruled to have fouled James Collins, the for­ward get­ting up to score the cru­cial equaliser.

“I still think it was a free kick on Chrissy on the edge of the box,” James said.

“If the ref­eree has given what he’s given for what hap­pened in the box, which was for me, min­i­mal if any­thing.

“Even their play­ers looked a lit­tle bit be­wil­dered. It was harsh on us but these things can hap­pen in foot­ball. “

It was an­other solid show­ing from James, who con­tin­ues to keep Bryan oviedo out of the side.

The for­mer Manch­ester United trainee is feel­ing in good shape but says he has even more to of­fer be­tween now and the end of the sea­son.

“When you get that run of games you build that mo­men­tum and you start to un­der­stand the play­ers around you, what they want from you and what you want from them,” he said.

“You build re­la­tion­ships, play­ing reg­u­larly means you get that.

“I still feel there’s more to come from me, hope­fully I can do that in the next few games.

“We’ve got a squad where any­one could play on any given day, Bryan has come on there and done well, Den­ver isn’t too far off.

“We’ve got qual­ity ev­ery­where, hope­fully we can get the squad fully fit soon.”

Reece James in ac­tion against Lu­ton.

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