Jack Ross praised his side's character after they, once again, came from behind to claim all three points. “I think AFC Wimbledon are a good side. We knew there would be different challenges to the game in the week, but there were also similarities in that we were away, it was a full house and there’s an excitement when Sunderland come and play. Teams are desperate to take a scalp. I thought they were really good in the first half, although from my point of view, I thought we were poor. We were outworked and outfought. But I felt that if we had faith in what we do, we would get opportunities in the second half. They worked us hard in the first half, and the players looked a bit mentally fatigued, so we wanted to get them in at half-time. But the positive was that carrot there for them to get back into the game."
Ross is also hoping to hang onto Lee Cattermole and Bryan Oviedo and praised the attitude shjown by the pair. “Nothing has happened to change it. They’re different in that there’s been nothing on the horizon for them at any point, which has been beneficial to me. But it was only going to be beneficial if they approached things in the manner they have done. I’ve said often enough, they’ve done that on the training pitch. Bryan travelled today, and it was a big decision not to start him. I thought Reece did well, but then Bryan came on and showed the attitude and quality he did. That’s testament to where he’s at. Things can change quickly, but at the moment, I see them as very much part of the group."
Ross also explained his decision to replace Glenn Loovens with Alim Ozturk at half time: "Glenn possibly could have continued but his groin had tightened up and it was a big ask anyway for him to play three games in a week. But I was pleased for Alim because it's been a difficult start and he's somebody I know from working with him previously (at Hearts) and I speak to him a lot. He's felt it because he cares about his football. I was pleased when he came on and contributed to us winning the game. It's nice for him psychologically."
Dylan McGeouch also came on for Max Power on 51 minutes: "Max fell awkwardly in training and he was feeling it in the first half. He wanted to play on, but I thought it hindered him a little bit performance-wise. I thought he was quieter than normal in the first half because he plays with such good energy. At the start of the second half I thought the same. He's not the type that would tell me, 'Take me off' but it was a decision we made. Dylan was a great sub to have because he gave us good control of the ball. But it's just a little thing with Max, I think he'll be fine."
In terms of outgoings, the gaffer has hinted that the AWOL twins, Didier Ndong and Papy Djilobodji, are close to sealing moves away from the club. "I said during the week I thought they (Ndong and Djilobodji) were very close, and I still think that’s the case. I’ve been speaking to Tony (Coton) regularly, and it’s been a lot of frustrating work for him. I think they will happen sooner rather than later, it’s just a case of when. It’s been a little bit frustrating in that sense. It’s not just frustrating in terms of us wanting to progress forward, Tony has been a brilliant help to me since I got the job, but we want to make sure that on the recruitment side, we put something in place that will stand us in good stead for the future. We’ve not been able to do that properly as yet because Tony has had to spend a lot of time on these players. Hopefully, we’ll get there soon and that will free him up to do other things. Ideally, I would like one that could do both. The couple that we'd looked at before could play off the side or as a striker. We have that fluidity within our approach.“Today that fluidity helped us. Chris' (Maguire) ability and George's (Honeyman) ability to play different roles helps us in terms of fluidity and flexibility within a game."Ideally one that could play both, but I don't know at the moment These two going out are holding things up a little bit."