News on Maguire’s broken leg
"Chris Maguire has a fractured fibula and he will be out for between six and eight weeks. Hopefully it’s towards the six, but he has another appointment next week to confirm he doesn’t need any surgery. We don't think that will be the case. It is a blow for him, first and foremost, but it is a blow for us as well. He has been important for us across the season in terms of goals and assists and over the last two games he was back at those levels that made us so productive at the beginning of the season. It is a blow for us but it is just one of those things that happens over the course of a season. He is frustrated because Chris just wants to play all the time. That is his nature, that is how he is as a guy and he knows he is going to be out for at least six weeks. He wants to contribute on the park, he wants to play his part and he knows what lies ahead of us as well. We have an exciting end to the season in two competitions. An end to the season that could be really enjoyable so he is already setting targets for when he could be back. He is still upbeat just now. We will give him some time off and hopefully that will help clear his head as well. I would prefer not to have it but unfortunately these things can't be helped. We have got to find a solution to keep winning games in the meantime."
Post Gillingham has the weight been lifted?
"Not for me. I think I have been quite consistent through some of the hysteria because that is what it is at times. Whereas the reality was that we have had a decent season all along. We have been going through periods where we have been frustrated, not just by the draws, but we have conceded a few late equalisers and there have been a couple of others where we have played well. (It is) More satisfaction that the players were getting rewards for their efforts the other night rather than me getting any sort of relief. The players have been, to their credit, they have remained consistent in their approach to training, their mood has been positive. The initial feeling after these games is that the frustration among the group in the changing room has been tangible. But we have been fairly level-headed throughout the whole season and you have to be. When you win games it always helps and makes your job easier to a degree as well."
Looking forward to Bristol Rovers?
"Graham (Coughlan) has been employed on a temporary basis and you have seen a reaction from them. I think you could see that when we played them at the Stadium of Light. Their recent form has been good. It has been similar to every other game we have had recently where on paper, you have the wrong idea of how strong these teams are when you just look at their league position. The reality is that these teams are fighting to stay in the league and that they are actually in really good form. We have seen that with Bristol Rovers the other day at Portsmouth. Away from home this season has been challenging and we will probably see that again on Saturday. It will be about trying to maintain large parts of the performance level from the last few weeks as well."
On playing Bristol Rovers twice in 10 days?
"I am glad we have the game in between. So, although we are playing them two out of the next three games at least we have a little break in between. We had similar against Walsall earlier in the season and it is not great playing the same team twice in a row. The fact there is a game in between will add a little bit of freshness and the fact that it is a big game will help that as well. When it comes around it will be important but because of the importance of the league games it is something we haven't given any consideration to at all yet. It is all about the challenge we face on Saturday.
Looking towards the run in
"I suppose the bulk of my managerial career has either been avoiding relegation or trying to achieve promotion. I have never really had any spells between so it is good in a way because I have pretty much had to deal with constant pressure. When you are Sunderland manager you have pressure every day anyway. It is just about the consistency of behaviours when you come under any sort of pressure to achieve or avoid failure. You have to maintain the consistency of shielding your players from going too high or too low because between now and the end of the season we are going to experience some high points but some pretty low points as well. At the moment there is very few teams that have little to play for so that just increases the demands of every fixture - not just for us but every other team going for promotion as well."
Happy that Will Grigg has scored his first goal?
"Psychologically it is always important for a striker to get off the mark. There was a lot of attention responsibility on his shoulders. We lost our top scorer in January and we have recruited one who will score goals for us regularly. It was good for him to score, the circumstances I wouldn't have predicted. Pleasing for him, it removes the stigma around him not scoring. It was just three games but such is the reaction in North East football. It has been interesting. After every game I have been at pains to point out that the reality is we have lost two league games, we have scored in every league game, we are third in the table with an opportunity of promotion, we are in the semi-finals of the cup. It is just that when you are involved at Sunderland you have to win every week. If you win then it is glass half-full. When you don't it goes the other way. I have got used to it very quickly."