Jack Baldwin was satisfied with his debut against Luton Town and to be fair he looked the part. “I think it was a pretty standard League One debut, as they go,” Baldwin said. “I think knowing the league got me through today a bit. We like to play football, get it down where we can, but at times, if there’s any doubt, you’ve seen today I won’t fuss about with it. We were disappointed to concede from a set piece, we’ll need to learn from that and put that right. I thought we looked threatening from set pieces as well to be fair. The gaffer is building an ethos at the club where we play the right way, but we’re not going to kill ourselves, whatever gets us results we’ll do. We don’t want to give it away but we’re out to play. We want to get the wide players and the players who are dangerous on the ball, because that’s where we’re going to get our joy from. We [defenders] are a stepping stone in that. This was a great game for the lads to see what it is all about, especially with Luton having the momentum from last season. It’s a great start for the lads to get that experience and there’ll be many like this going forward. Coming away from home, you’re looking to stay solid and first and foremost, don’t lose the game. Anything on top of a point is a positive, if you win at home and draw away, you’ll have a brilliant season. The way teams go against us will vary, some teams will see it as nothing to lose and come out and have a real go. Others will want to hold onto whatever they’ve got. As a team we’ll have to keep adapting as we go. It’s good to be back up here. It was a very new chapter when I moved up to Hartlepool, I was only 18. It was a good chapter, my wife and I went back the other day to see the marina, Seaton beach. It’s a passionate place for football, I like that. The fans appreciate hard work first and foremost. Off the pitch at Hartlepool, I loved the derby games. Even in the town you could sense the rivalry, you felt the buzz and what it meant. I sat and watched it a couple of times with Sunderland fans, and it really sums up the passion of the place. It’s exciting for us players to have that behind us.”
Jack Ross is still looking for a striker, now that one of his targets, James Wilson, has joined Aberdeen. “At the moment we’re probably looking for potential rather than proven (players) because of the proven ones in the squad who will be back sooner rather than later. Charlie (Wyke) is proven in this league and Jerome (Sinclair) is proven at a good level as well. We have to be conscious of that as well. We want to make sure we’re not in a difficult position, and in the loan market that sometimes happens.”
And the gaffer also had a kind word for our only fit forward, Josh Maja. “He’s as good a finisher as I’ve ever worked with at that age. He’s got really good quality in and around the box, he’s just got to work on his mind-set to believe how good he is when he gets his opportunities. You can see how confident he feels when he gets that opportunity. And there’s a lot of responsibility on his shoulders because he’s the only recognised striker we have, and even then, he’s still got a lot to learn. We’re asking a lot of him and he’s responded in a good way as well, two goals in two games.”
Ross also chatted about Jack Baldwin and Max Power’s debuts. “I thought both were really good, I mentioned Jack and every day this week he’s trained better,” he said. “Max is a really good player in this league, no doubt. He’s a really good professional and he’s integrated himself in the group very quickly and very well. He’ll be an asset to us moving forward, because he’s got a versatility in his play, he’s an all-rounder in the middle of the pitch. Hopefully, we’ll get a striker in for Thursday (when Sunderland take on Sheffield Wednesday in the Carabao Cup) because that will help us as well. We’ve got an important league game on Sunday as well, and we can’t afford anything to happen to the ones we’ve got.”
In other news, for the Sheffield Wednesday match on Thursday, season card holders can enjoy a special discount, with adult tickets just £8 and over 65s and under 16s only £4. A special family ticket (two adults and two under 16s) is available for £20. A black cat point will also be awarded for tickets purchased in advance. Please note, black cat points cannot be awarded for tickets purchased via cash turnstiles.