Sunderland sealed a comfortable win over Bristol Rovers and moved closer to the top two with back to back wins. Luke O’Nien got the scoring underway in the first half and Aiden McGeady added a second to seal all three points which moved the lads only two points behind Barnsley in second.
Jack Ross had this to say afterwards: Ross said: "I’ve spoken about this a lot but pre and post match we maybe don’t give the opposition enough credit just because of the expectations on us. We came to a team that hadn’t lost since had played them, were on good form and had a lot to play for. You see the size of the crowd today and that’s a challenge. We had to be resilient, robust and compact and we did that. You then always believe you’ll produce moments of quality and we did that. We look at a lot of our aspects of our game and we know we’ll always offer an attacking threat. We had a little period where we didn’t and we got to the bottom of that, and then you have to address the other side of it as well. It’s the whole group, not just the defence, and in fairness to them they took on board what we asked them to do. That was pleasing today, we looked solid. It then allows the latter part of the game to be more manageable."
The gaffer also hailed the dressing room sprit, which he said never wavered during our run of draws. Ross said: “There was genuinely no change in the belief in the changing room, I didn't sense that for one moment. It was my job to make sure they maintained that level headedness. The players are pleased, satisfied and enjoy the feeling, it is another one knocked off. We keep getting results like today, we give ourselves a good chance. Even when they were getting a bit more stick [during the recent run of draws] they were good and resilient. The have shown time and again they have character. As you go towards the end of the season you need to have that mental strength, that character. It is about remaining focused and controlling the controllables. We have done that really well, it is about concentrating on what we do. I don’t have to worry about that side of things. To play for this club you have to be resilient and show mental strength, they have shown that in abundance.”
Ross also praised Luke O'Nien, who scored his fifth goal of the season against Rovers. Ross added: “Luke will always score goals, he is a very good finisher. “He's up there with the best finishers at the club, not that he had to show that today, but he has that hunger to score goals.”