ROSS: STAY POS­I­TIVE AND IM­PROVE IN KEY AR­EAS

SUN­DER­LAND BOSS EAGER TO AVOID NEG­A­TIV­ITY AS CLUB STRIVES FOR PRO­MO­TION

Sunderland Echo - - Sport - By Phil Smith [email protected]­me­dia.co.uk @Phil__Smith

Sun­der­land’s un­beaten record at home con­tin­ued on Satur­day as they bat­tled to a 1-1 draw with Lu­ton Town.

Af­ter a spell in pre­vi­ous sea­sons where they went just day un­der a year with­out win­ning at the Sta­dium of Light, that is some­thing to savour.

Yet there re­mains a very fair con­cern that a team with se­ri­ous de­signs on win­ning au­to­matic pro­mo­tion can­not af­ford the num­ber of draws that the Black Cats are pro­duc­ing.

Satur­day was their third in six home games.

It was their tenth over­all in League One this sea­son.

“Nat­u­rally there is an el­e­ment of frus­tra­tion around that, some of those draws we may have lost, some we feel we should have won,” Ross said.

“A num­ber have been from win­ning po­si­tions. I spoke dur­ing the week about our record from los­ing po­si­tions is bril­liant, our record from win­ning po­si­tions could be bet­ter.

“That is some­thing we need to im­prove upon. If we do, then we will be in a good place.”

It was an af­ter­noon that saw the stakes raised sig­nif­i­cantly in the pro­mo­tion race.

Portsmouth suf­fered a sur­prise, rare de­feat at home to Black­pool while Barnsley, Charl­ton and Peter­bor­ough United all won.

Sun­der­land re­main in good shape, still one point be­hind Lu­ton but still with that game in hand. Ross says that he will con­tinue to re­mind his play­ers that they are per­form­ing well and in with an ex­cel­lent chance of achiev­ing their goals for the cam­paign. Af­ter a chal­leng­ing sum­mer he re­mains up­beat about where his squad and his club are at. “There are loads of dif­fer­ent facets to that; one, you are play­ing for a big club, whether you like Sun­der­land, hate Sun­der­land, you can’t dis­pute this is a big club with an in­cred­i­ble fan­base an in­cred­i­ble in­fra­struc­ture,” he said. “That in it­self is dif­fer­ent to a lot of clubs and brings with it ex­pec­ta­tion, pres­sure and re­spon­si­bil­ity, not just on me but the play­ers. “The per­cep­tion of us be­ing in this league, how other clubs per­ceive vis­it­ing this sta­dium, sup­port­ers, how they view pick­ing up a re­sult against us.

“All these things and maybe the view from afar is that only be­ing third in the ta­ble is un­der­achiev­ing, that is for some peo­ple to judge me on whether that is the case or not.

“We are a good League One team. We are not a Premier League team that has been chucked into League One.

“These are all things that come into the mix.

“I have to be acutely aware of that and con­tinue to make sure that I keep my play­ers on that up­beat, they are good as a group,” he added.

“They need me to drag them along and it is up to me to say don’t leave here with your chin on the floor, leave here know­ing you are third in the league, a game in hand, right in amongst it with loads of the sea­son to go.

“They are in a good place. We are not sev­enth, eight or ninth in the ta­ble, think­ing can we scratch into the play­offs.

“We have given our­selves a chance.

Luke O’Nien tries to press for­ward against Lu­ton,

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.