Jack backs Black Cats at­tack to get goals

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Mark Richard­son

SUN­DER­LAND man­ager Jack Ross says ev­ery­one at the club is learn­ing how to han­dle life in League One.

The Black Cats boss watched his team make it four wins in a row by ex­tend­ing an un­beaten run to seven games af­ter over­com­ing Southend United at the Sta­dium of Light.

Ge­orge Honey­man’s header in the 29th minute was fol­lowed by a stun­ning 30-yard drive from Chris Maguire seven min­utes af­ter the break. Ir­ish sub­sti­tute Ai­den McGeady capped the win with a third with 10 min­utes re­main­ing.

It was a win that lifted Sun­der­land to within three points of lead­ers Portsmouth and they re­main a point be­hind sec­ond-placed Peter­bor­ough United.

Ross, whose side kept a third clean sheet in a row, said: “We are learn­ing this league isn’t easy; to­day’s per­for­mance, this type of game, would have caused us prob­lems be­fore.

“We would have been spooked by it a bit more, against a good side, but we are learn­ing as a club. We have learned not to con­cede dur­ing dif­fi­cult pe­ri­ods and then we know we will have pas­sages in a game where we will score.” Southend boss Chris Pow­ell felt a firsthalf penalty claim that was waved away when Sun­der­land were ahead, af­ter Tom Flana­gan wiped out Dru Year­wood, proved costly.

He said: “I think the game-chang­ing mo­ment is the penalty in­ci­dent with Dru. That’s a big, big mo­ment in the game. The sec­ond goal’s a hell of a strike. We cre­ated more chances and had more ef­forts on tar­get.”

They forced a cou­ple of de­cent saves from Jon McLaugh­lin in the Sun­der­land goal, but Southend couldn’t do any­thing about the in-form Black Cats at the other end.

Honey­man’s glanc­ing header from Lyn­den Gooch’s cross in the 29th minute got things rolling be­fore Maguire’s thun­der­bolt seven min­utes into the sec­ond half ef­fec­tively sealed the points.

McGeady drilled a low left-foot ef­fort in­side Mark Ox­ley’s bot­tom-left cor­ner fol­low­ing Josh Maja’s lay-off to set the seal on a big win.

Pow­ell said: “If you’ve got the qual­ity of McGeady com­ing on, but they’re in League One, you have to be­lieve … we knew ex­actly what we would come up against.”

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