Sunderland slipped out of the Carabao Cup in the first round losing 2-0 to Championship side Sheffield Wednesday at the SOL on Tuesday evening. Despite some promising football at times, Sunderland were undone after a horrific defensive error by Alim Ozturk allowed Marco Matias to open the scoring in the first half before Adam Reach doubled Wednesday's lead ten minutes from time.
Jack Ross had this to say afterwards: “Performance wise tonight, I thought those players did that very well, and the ones that are injured at the moment are getting ever closer. A lot of them are ahead of schedule which is encouraging, and their desire to get back has been good. There’s good and bad you can take from every game, but being on the pitch in a competitive first-team game is a great starting point for those young players,” he said. “Elliot and Denver did that tonight. Bali (Mumba) has also been heavily involved in the games, and I’ve been delighted with all of them. Denver did really well considering we asked him to play on his wrong side. That’s a really big ask, so I thought he was terrific, and Elliot’s contribution was great as well. That’s testament to the work that’s been done at the club. We need to ensure that pathway is there. Our academy has a reputation for being a terrific academy, but players have to believe there’s a reason for it. They can’t get to a certain point and then feel as if they’re being moved on because that path is blocked. We’re disappointed to lose the game because we’re trying to create a culture and mind-set here where we don’t fall back into an acceptance of losing matches,” he said. “Particularly at this stadium. But beyond that, there are large parts of that game we should be pleased with. Particularly in the first half, I thought we were by far the better team, and that’s encouraging when we’re having to fit square pegs into round holes a little bit at the moment.”
We looked very weak up front against Sheffield Wednesday, but Jack Ross says he won’t sign another striker unless he’s happy that the player will improve the squad. “There’s nothing close at the moment,” said Ross. “We were waiting on an answer for one that won’t happen imminently, but might happen later in the month. We probably could have done one or two names for the sake of it, but I’m loath to do that. It might just appease people externally if we’ve got another striker into the squad, but if it’s not going to add quality to what we’re trying to do at the club, then I think we’re better trying to find ways to make the best of what we have just now.