Ten-man Sunderland drew 2-2 with promotion rivals Peterborough United at the SOL on Tuesday evening in a feisty encounter. Sunderland had taken a deserved lead midway through the first half thanks to Josh Maja’s eighth goal of the season. However, the game changed when Bryan Oviedo saw red for a petulant kick which put the lads on the back foot and allowed the visitors back into the game through Joe Ward. Jerome Sinclair thought he had won it late on with his first goal for the lads, but Ivan Toney struck even later after another Sunderland defensive lapse to earn a share of the spoils. Bryan Oviedo now faces a three-game ban and Denver Hume is out for six weeks, step up Reece James.
Jack Ross had this to say afterwards: “The league table doesn’t matter now. We have had challenges this season and been so resilient in meeting them, we are dealing with the expectations of being where we are. That group in there keeps improving their performance levels, we are getting better. We are still not there but we are getting better all the time. We are getting players back and they are responding to what I want from them. We will be in a better position at the end of the season. I thought we were very good, different aspects really good. First half we were miles ahead. Second half we had to be resilient, we did that well, then the response we had with ten men was outstanding. For my team to go and try to win the game is testament to my team. I don’t have an issue with the sending off, I have watched it again. I don’t think the contact reflected the reaction, but that’s what opposition players do. It is out of character, Bryan is disappointed in the changing room. Denver will be out for six weeks. Bryan suspended now. We went from a 72 hours period to having the strongest squad we have had all season to having the stretched squad. What these circumstances do is offer up an opportunity.”
Ross also described referee Coote’s performance as “Indifferent!” He added. “It’s strange because I hear some of the comments saying we get favours here, we have had a couple of penalties against us, red cards, we haven’t had too much go for us here. But our performance was good regardless of that.”
Jerome Sinclair scored the first goal of his senior career against Peterborough and Jack Ross was full of praise for him afterwards: “When you bring loans to a club, you have to be careful they are a good fit and a good character, Jerome has had limited opportunities but his attitude in training is brilliant. He is determined to do well here, desperate to do well here. Not just for his own career, he likes the club and I was really pleased for him. He is hard on himself, he was disappointed at half-time with the missed opportunity, others were good around him. I was just disappointed his goal wasn’t the winner.”
Sinclair was pretty delighted and relieved to get off the mark "To get that first goal meant a lot. The fans and crowd were crazy, it felt really good to be out there! I heard the roar and the passion from all the lads and the fans, it was a special moment. We have some top-quality players in this team and when we all get sharp and playing together then we will be tough to stop in this league. It is another big game at the weekend, we have to give it our all and get the three points. We were disappointed not to see the game out, if you look at the fact we went down to ten men and then managed to get ourselves ahead, but you have to take the point."
Ross also explained the absence of George Honeyman. Ross said: “George, it was a head knock, protocol around concussion meant he couldn’t play. He wanted to play, felt as if he was able to but there is procedures in place now and we have to be respectful of them. We will assess him before Saturday.” Luke O’Nien was ill.
Posh boss Steve Evans said: “It’s a hard place to get anything and we think Sunderland will challenge for promotion, so credit to the group. This is a great place and the fans are great, they are so good they get so many decisions for them.”
The Blackpool game, which was due to take place on Saturday 13 October the Stadium of Light, has been postponed because three or more of our players have now been selected for international duty by their respective countries.