No More False Midfield

Jack Ross has been discussing the harsh realities of League One, following our 2-1 defeat to Burton Albion. He said: "I had no qualms with the scoreline at half-time, they were streets ahead of us in terms of the game. In terms of how we set the team up, we knew we'd give up certain areas, we asked a lot of Lee [Cattermole] and George [Honeyman] in that respect because they had an extra man in there. We looked at our front four and believed they would cause significant troubles but there has to be the fundamentals that underpin it, in terms of how hard you work and how physical you are. Physical doesn't mean kicking people, it means using your body. That comes from within. We are still, in my eyes, going through a learning process in this league and what we will face. Teams don't come to Burton and win 5-0, away teams may win by the odd goal and be delighted. It is tempering that with where we have been as a club and what has happened recently; I don't want the mentality to drift back to feeling sorry for ourselves and 'here we go again'. That has been too readily here in recent times. If we went and won the game it would have left us in a really good position, that makes it even more frustrating for us. We are still in an okay position but do we accept that as being okay? Certainly not from me. That is not why I came to the club. We have to keep growing that in the changing room. We have to ensure that when we have days like Saturday that we don't buckle under that, we have shown resilience in terms of the reaction in previous games but you can't just show that resilience when you really need to - we have to have it from the get go. We need to get better at that."

Burton boss, Nigel Clough, on the other hand was delighted: "It was another good game. We've been involved in a few in the last few weeks, and I thought that was up there. It was two teams going at it hammer and tongs, not always the best quality at times - but I thought the endeavour and honesty and everything shone out. I thought we should've won it more comfortably because of the start to the second half. I thought in that five or six minutes just after half-time, we should've scored a goal or two and put the game to bed. But unfortunately they then go up the other end, it's one shot from 20-odd yards and it's in the top corner and it's a different game then. If we'd have just finished one of those chances at the start of the second half, it would've been more comfortable for us."

In sharp contrast to Papy and N’dong, Bryan Oviedo is remaining a true professional. Saying that he and Catts are taking up 40% of our wage bill so we could still do with moving them on in January. “In the end it was not possible to move and now it only remains to continue demonstrating and growing as a footballer. Personally, I’m happy, I just take this challenge and I hope to give my best to be the best left-back in this league. The league is a bit similar in level to that of Denmark (where he played for FC Copenhagen), they are very physical games where the teams run a lot. It’s a difficult league, very similar to the Championship. Here there are strong, powerful and fast players. Sunderland play well and I hope to enjoy it here, improving here with the team winning promotion. Playing games will help me a lot, maybe the league is not as competitive as the Premier League but it’s not bad. I’m not going to drop my performance levels. I have to train hard and football is about continuing to improve. England is a country with a very good quality of life, my wife and my children are happy here. We walk on the street without any problems. The quality of life is important. I am playing well in the country with the best league.”