The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE -

cob­son’s cor­ner then they would have been ahead ear­lier. How­ever, Sun­der­land wasted a cou­ple of late chances be­fore the break too.

Irish winger Ai­dan McGeady, the pick of the play­ers on the day, was al­most re­warded for a per­for­mance of in­tent with the opener but he rolled an ef­fort wide when he got free of his marker in the area. Other than that there was very lit­tle for ei­ther goal­keeper to deal with.

But with 66 min­utes on the clock, a rou­tine ball into the area wasn’t dealt with. Onyed­inma con­trolled and then pow­ered a fin­ish high in­side McLaugh­lin’s net from 14 yards to stun the Wear­side crowd.

Sun­der­land pulled it back when Maja con­trolled a lovely run and pass from Ge­orge Honey­man to pre­vent a frus­trat­ing home de­feat.

Maja is an academy grad­u­ate at Sun­der­land and he is cer­tainly tak­ing his chance this sea­son. He is out of con­tract in the sum­mer and has clubs mon­i­tor­ing him at higher lev­els, hav­ing proven his qual­ity.

Ross said: “I know he will be here with me un­til min­i­mum Jan­uary and I would hope longer but you can’t say that with any cer­tainty but I hope he will be at Sun­der­land in the fu­ture.

“I do know he is en­joy­ing his foot­ball and play­ing reg­u­larly and con­tribut­ing and you some­times for­get how young he is and to score 11 goals he de­serves huge credit for that.

“He knows there are as­pects of his game he needs to im­prove on and he knows he can progress here. I be­lieve we will con­tinue to im­prove him, but there are not that many bet­ter clubs than this so there are a whole lot of things for him to con­sider.

He added: “There is an el­e­ment of frus­tra­tion af­ter this be­cause there was the tan­gi­ble re­ward for us and how the game panned out there is frus­tra­tion. On the flip side I don’t think you could ask the play­ers to show more de­sire.

“You have to have good squads who want to play in the game and ev­ery sin­gle player de­serves credit for mak­ing a con­tri­bu­tion to get some­thing from the game.”

PIC­TURE: PA Im­ages

RES­CUE ACT: Josh Maja fires home Sun­der­land’s late lev­eller

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