Jack Ross’ Sunderland won their third game in a row to keep up their automatic promotion challenge with a comfortable 2 – 0 win over Plymouth Argyle at the SOL on Saturday. Goals from midfielders Lee Cattermole and George Honeyman sealed the victory for the lads who remain third in the league hot on the heels of Luton and Barnsley who both also won.
Jack Ross had this to say afterwards: “Was that the best we’ve played? Possibly. Although there have been lots of other occasions too. You don't get to where we are without being good in games, the record over the season, statistically has been terrific. There have been patches we have played like that. But in terms of sustained pressure like that, we were very good. A lot of the things today, particularly in that first half, were what we work on. As a manager, you don’t often get those days when it all comes together as complete as that, aside from maybe scoring more goals. The players enjoyed it, they are in good place. They didn’t get too high when we win or anxious when we weren’t. I have been pleased with us for five or six games, our performance level has been good. We always believe we will create opportunities, and it was a satisfying afternoon for us.”
Plymouth boss Derek Adams added: “Collectively, we didn’t play well enough in the first half, but the second half was a lot better and we should have had a penalty for handball which, at 1-0, could have been crucial. We looked like we were scared today to be honest and the occasion got to too many. This club (Sunderland) should be in a higher division and they have the resources to do that and you can see with the class of some of their players that they have shown that today. We had to change the keeper (Kyle Letheren) because he couldn't kick the ball and he has a groin problem, so he is obviously struggling and we will assess him for the next period.”
Scoring sensation, Lee Cattermole had this to say: "I thought it was going to be a real special day. The way we played first half was outstanding, I think it's as good a 45 minutes as we've played barring Scunthorpe at home where we really played well. We could have been three or four-nil up at half-time. We knew it was going to be difficult in the second half. They've come a long way from Plymouth and we knew the manager would get into them and make sure he got a response. From the level we were at in the first-half, we probably didn't reach that, but we dug in and ground the result out. Scoring goals is not something I've really focused on throughout my career but the way the game was going in the first half, I thought I could start getting in the box a little bit more. We were so comfortable and getting in some good areas. We had a little switch, started getting forward more and I'm delighted to be scoring goals and helping the team. Mainly it's about getting three points, it's important now that we keep clean sheets because we've got so much quality in the team to create chances. There's quality through the leagues and everyone is competitive," he added. "We've got no given right to go and win games of football. People make it difficult for us every week. We've achieved nothing as of yet and we just need to keep working, keep our feet on the ground, but I think we're hitting form at the right time."