Sunderland drew with Stoke City in the Checkatrade Trophy but won the penalty shoot-out 4-2. That means we got one point for the draw and one point for the shoot out victory! Confused? Here’s what Jack Ross had to say: “You could see by our selection that we were taking the game seriously. First half we were poor, to be honest, flat and slow. I was angry at half-time but second half we were better, the tempo was better and we plugged away. I was pleased we got the reward at the end, it wasn’t an easy game to play in, there was a really good crowd in with regards to the game itself but within the stadium it obviously has a very different feel.”
Ross also spoke of the confusion over Max Power’s three game suspension, after the player lost his red card appeal yesterday, following his sending off against Oxford on Saturday. "I’ve got to choose my words carefully," he said. "I’ve said prior to the game that this competition, there’s a lot of criteria you have to fill when it comes to picking your team. You also get dragged to meetings to make sure you promote the competition and take it seriously, then you get the nonsense earlier on today. It makes it difficult as a manager. With Max it's probably come down to them [FA & EFL] butting heads," he added. "In terms of the appeal process and the findings, no problem. But I will never get my head around him not getting available tonight and I know there are other clubs in the same boat. I received a communication not long before kick-off that was attempting to clarify the situation but that was reactive, because there’s been some criticism. It is unfortunate they had not prepared for it. It’s not a massive deal, but Max won’t play until the end of September now, it would have been good for him to play. It's an effective four-game ban."
Ross was also delighted with Denver Hume’s performance: "I thought he was one of the few in the first half that had a real aggressiveness, and I mean that in the best possible way. I’ve been really pleased with him all the way through pre-season and the season so far, he’s adapted really well to how we train and how we do things. I have some sympathy for him because he keeps having to play on his wrong side, but hopefully that shows I trust him and for him moving forward, it’ll stand him in really good stead. When he gets to plays on his strong side he will flourish."
In other news, with 22,000 season cards sold before the season started, the club have launched an 18-game season card, which will begin on Tuesday 2 October, when Peterborough United rock up to the SOL. Adult prices start at £295, with under 16s costing just £60. Chairman Stewart Donald said: “It has been a great start to the season for us. To see fans enjoying coming to games and going home happy has been fantastic and I want to thank everyone for getting behind the team in such huge numbers. We know there is a long way to go, both on and off the field, but we are making positive progress and I genuinely think that we are building something very special here. I know some fans may have been sceptical over the summer when we first arrived at the club, but I hope now they can see what we are trying to achieve. We want as many people as possible to be part of the club’s renaissance and by introducing the new 18-game season card fans can sign up for the rest of the season and save some money at the same time.”